Posted on Sunday, June 14, 2009 | By Gautam | In
Yesterday I was sitting, happily sipping away on my evening tea when suddenly my phone rang. My friend on the other side sounded quite anxious. He had developed some sort of a bulging on his abdomen and needed to see a good surgeon.
We went to one, considered one of the best in my city. People there were apparently waiting for doctor saab. More than the patients, you had their concerned relatives. You also had an organism, rather organisms, all impeccably dressed, all loaded up with their bags. These organisms are also known as medical representatives. The scheduled time for saab to show up was 6, informed his assistant. We waited. 6.15. 6.30. 6.45. Finally saab decided to show up. Or better still, he took an avatar for the well being of us lesser mortals. The patients and their families (mostly from the villages) bowed (this reminded me of feudalism which still exists, but has metamorphosed).
As soon as saab entered his chamber, chaos ensued outside. Everyone wanted to get hold of saab first. Fair enough. But this reminded me of all those chaotic scenes wherein you have police too, ensuring orderliness. But somehow sanity prevailed and the assistant (no less than a superhero's sidekick) ensured some orderliness. Along with diagnosing, saab also had his chats going on with the medical reps.
I'm sure you too are familiar with such an experience. We see and feel it all too regularly. But it also raises some questions-
- Why do we prefer to visit a doctor at his house rather than the hospital?
- Does the sarkaari doctor saab diagnose better at home than hospital?
- When the patient is paying him his fee, why doesn't he ensure an undivided and undiluted attention? Is talking to the medical rep so very important?
- How is a poor person expected to pay 100 bucks as the consultation fee when the minimum wage rate in Rajasthan is 73 bucks?
- How is he going to survive the aftershock of buying the supposedly superior patented medicines?
- Is anybody listening?
Doctor, are you listening???