Mumbai: After highlighting string of social issues affecting Indian society starting from female foeticide to child abuse, Aamir Khan turned the spotlight on frail health care system and malpractices in the medical profession in the fourth episode of his show Satyameva Jayate. This episode shed light on a slew of such medical cases where doctors forced patients suffering from minor ailments to undergo operation just to extract money from them.
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This show, which highlighted the lacuna of medical fallacies, could be an eye-opener for everybody regardless of their financial status. Right from the ruthlessness of few doctors, prescribing wrong medication, and students paying excessive fees for medical education to a few good doctors practicing to serve humanity- Satyameva Jayate nailed one of the most neglected areas of public life.
Kudos to Aamr for inviting medical students and members of the fraternity as audience to make them aware of the loop holes widespread in this profession. While asking the young medicine professionals and students from the audience their real intent behind perusing medicines, Aamir urged, “Be healers rather than being just profit seeking experts.”
Plight of common man
Satyamev Jayate brought to light the shocking cases of a number of unfortunate people who suffered at the hands of fraud doctors. A well researched team of Aamir shows the plight of common people who are deprived of medical facilities because they can’t pay the fee or charge of medicine. In support of this they told the highlighted an incident where a 24 year old pregnant woman died along with her unborn child due to the doctor's insensitivity and lack of medical attention. VS Venkatesh is one of the victims of the medical fallacies. Though Venkatesh’s problem could be cured easily, doctors made him undergo four surgeries unnecessarily.
Hyderabad based Arvind Kumar's case was a bit similar. Although Arvind was admitted to ICU for three days and was advised to undergo a surgery; he refused to follow the doctor's advice and relied on his own intelligence, thus avoiding a surgery. But none of these patients could not escape the huge hospital bills.
Operation uncalled for
In a shocking revelation, the women of Kowdipally village in Andhra Pradesh were advised to undergo operations for uterus removal. As a result of those faulty operations, women are unable to conceive. To add to their woes, they undertook heavy loans to get the operation done. And they are still suffering from the side effects of the operation. Dr PV Ramesh, who was among the guests on the show, said it is impossible that so many women would have had to undergo the operation. In another heart wrenching incident was of Seema Rai, wife of Major Pankaj Rai. Seema was taken for a kidney and pancreas transplant without the family's permission and the doctor operating on her did not even have a license to perform a pancreatic transplant. After 17 hours on the operation table poor Seema succumbed and passed away. More shockingly, instead of informing her family the doctors switched off their cell phones. For this kind of negligence the licenses of those doctors should had been cancelled.
Lax in taking action against errant doctors
Chairman of the Medical Council of India (MIC) Dr KK Talwar, revealed that not even a single doctor's license has been cancelled since 2008. The last case was that of Dr Ketan Desai whose license was cancelled due to his medical inefficiency. It also showed how a paltry 1.4 percent of our total GDP is utilised by the government to look after the health of our massive population. The show also highlighted the issue of malpractices going on in the sale of medicines. After throwing in statistics and facts comparing the healthcare systems in England and India, Khan spoke to Dr KK Talwar, chairman of Medical Council of India, who assured him that effective steps would be taken to put an end to such kind of malpractices.
Setting up generic drugs centre
As a solution, Khan introduced and promoted the unique concept of generic drugs. Dr Samit Sharma, IAS, Managing Director, Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation, who was a guest in the show, has been helping poor people in Rajasthan by setting up generic medical centers aiming at selling medicines at a cheaper price. Aamir also congratulated Dr Samit Sharma and encouraged him to open such centers in all states of India and requested audiences to lend their support for this noble cause. On the positive side, Dr Shetty introduced the low cost insurance policy, an innovative scheme which can be availed by the lower strata of the society to undergo expensive surgeries which would have been impossible otherwise. The show, in totality, focused on how our healthcare system is in a shamble, and what steps should be taken to bring about some positive changes in its functioning.
The show, in totality, focused on how our healthcare system is in a shamble, and what steps should be taken to bring about some positive changes in its functioning. While educating audiences, the show has raised slew of questions on the doctor-patient relationship. To what extent can we trust our doctors? Do they really care for our well being? Are they justifying their profession by doing illegal act? Aamir says on the show, human value is priceless and it does not matter if we are rich or poor. We must know our rights and put up precise questions! As well-meaning citizens, we need to chip in with our contribution to the society and help others out, just the way Aamir does in every episode of Satyamev Jayate.