Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - May 27, 2012, 03:05 PM IST
Mr. Aamir Khan has taken the mantle of difference in his hand, and he is visibly using his wand to good use till now. The 4th episode of his much-followed show ‘Satyamev Jayte’ was as much a treat to watch as it was shockingly informative. We have learnt it the bitter way that the people we trust the most in times of dire need, are not trustworthy in most cases. The latest edition of Aamir’s ‘Bring a change’ campaign saw uncovering the harsh reality that persists in our pathetically corrupted nation: Doctors are businessmen now. And in fact, they are as dexterous and cunning in their profession as only few out there can ever hope to be.
The perfectionist actor opened our eyes up by talking in more facts and figures this time than relying on the usual emotional melodrama. He introduced us to some cases which shame the medical profession in our country. There was a man who lost the fingers of his feet unnecessarily. Then we had in the show a retd. Major who had come there along with his daughter to enlighten us about the case where his wife was operated upon without his consent, resulting in the loss of her life, let alone more than Rs. 8 Lacs they had to pay up for the surgery. The case is being debated in court right now.
Then we got introduced to the blasphemy that the men in medicine commit to earn their luxurious livelihood. Dr. Anil Pichhar who runs a pathology lab in Santa Cruz(E) told the audience how the doctors charge ’40-50% commission’ for referring their patients to his laboratory. Aamir also talked to Dr. Amol Pandit, now a practitioner in the UK, via VC, where the doctor also advocated further on the malpractice. Furthermore, we got to know about a shocking case where it got hard to believe the atrocities that the white-coated men commit. In Medak district, Andhra Pradesh, almost all the women in a village had been operated upon forcefully where their uterus had been taken out for monetary gains. The doctors apparently scared the women into undergoing an operation, going onto the extent of saying that they could lose their lives if not operated upon.
Next, we got to know about the curious case of the practices going on in the premier governing body in the country on this matter, the Medical Council of India (MCI). Dr. Ketan Desai has been banned twice for ill practices. Major General Jhingaon was shocked, when he was appointed the chief next, while inspecting the state of medical colleges. They were only money-hungry. He resigned soon after. And the current chief, Dr. KK Talwar, was made to take an oath that he would look into this matter as soon as possible, and permanently cancel the licences of such doctors (which, stunning as it may sound, actually has not been done since 2008) that do not follow the basic regulations of the MCI.
Although we must have been aware of the ‘donation’ scenario in the Indian colleges by now, but the medical students seated in the audience let us know that the ‘current rate’ is approximately Rs. 70-80 Lacs to get into an average college. A learned medical practitioner and editor of a medical magazine, Dr. MC Gulati blatantly criticised the working of the MCI. He talked facts, saying that since 2001, the govt has only opened up 31 medical colleges, whereas 106 private colleges have been established. Moreover, even the pharma companies pay ‘30% incentives’ to the doctors to prescribe only their drugs to the patients. He was extremely expressive in claiming that “health is not the priority in India anymore, since only the rich can afford it now”.
When the show was nearing conclusion, Mr. Khan introduced us to two certain gentlemen who made us believe that the condition is not as bleak as it seems. There is always scope for a ‘happy ending’. Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, the founder of Narayan Hridalaya, is working towards a unique scheme called ‘Yeshaswini’. The comprehensive low-cost health insurance scheme provides the lesser privileged a chance to get medical help during times of need. Then we had Dr. Samit Sharma, an IAS, who enlightened us with amazing facts and figures. The ‘expensive’ medicines that we buy from normal chemist shops from the market are actually very cheap in reality. It’s only the branding that sky-rockets their cost drastically. The ultra-cheap medicines are available at ‘Generic Medicine Stores’. He is trying to make the concept of such drug stores popular throughout the nation, so we can avail every medicine at the minimal cost.
The show is really a step forward into achieving a better tomorrow. Kudos to the man who has treads the path less-trodden: Aamir Khan.