serious issue

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2018 14:04:09

THAT the Government had to appoint an experts’ panel to determine the level of compensation to patients with faulty hip implants, may be a routine matter from legal point of view. Yet the fact that faulty implants were used without checking their correctness by a reputed manufacturer, shows the extent of possible wrong practices now prevalent in medical profession at least in India. This is a major issue that needs an urgent tackling at all levels. To that extent, the Government has done well to have appointed an experts’ panel to decide the compensation to the patients. This step may herald a new and no-nonsense approach to similar issues arising out of suspect practices in medicare. 

It is common knowledge that a lot of wrong practices are being followed in medicare in the country even as commerce takes a nasty hold on the profession described as noble by one and all. Serious complaints are heard commonly all over the country about wrong medication, wrong diagnosis, wrong surgical practices -- all mostly aimed at extracting more money from unsuspecting patients and their relatives. Serious complaints are also heard commonly all over the country that doctors recommend various tests whose purpose is quite suspect in given situations. Because private hospitals needing huge investments have come up, their managements’ urge to make up for the investments by squeezing the patients and their distressed families, also is being reported every now and then all over the country.

Even as the clamour goes up that medicare must be made affordable, that demand is far from being met since strong commercial forces are at work around medicare. If this is the condition in medicare, equally disgusting is the scene around medical education in the country with private medical colleges having come up in a big way, making the students pay through the nose for the expenses of sending the youngsters to get trained in those institutions. In sharp contrast, education in Government-run institutions is within the reach of common people, though the admissions are tougher because of the stiff competition. Private parties running medical colleges seem to take an undue advantage of the situation to squeeze a lot of money from aspiring students. These youngsters then tend to exploit the systemic faults to make a fast buck to cover their families’ spending on their expensive education. A lot of wrong and unethical practices in medicare can be attributed to these commercial forces.

If in this case faulty hip implants is the issue, in countless other cases, cheap eye-lens implants, cheap cardiac stents, cheap knee-joint implants are alleged to be used liberally even as the hospitals or doctors extract huge payments that are not commensurate with the material used. Serious complaints are heard across the country as regards this issue, with almost no reddressal available to the harassed patients and their families.

This situation is no good for any country, and it is imperative that the Government took some strong action against the unethical and wrong practices in medicare, a field that is so badly dominated by pharma companies whose managements are alleged to stoop to any extent to ensure that the medical practitioners support them and their products left-right-and-centre. In order to ensure that, the pharma companies are alleged to shower the doctors with massive gifts that also include, in some cases, luxury cruises the world over for the doctors and their families. It is very unfortunate that such wrong practices abound in medical profession, giving certain scare to unsuspecting patients and their families. It is high time the Government took active interest in this field so that it is able to put an end to the malpractices that are allegedly taking place in the medical profession. This serious issue has been crying for attention for long.