Chandigarh: ‘Ethical Healthcare in India’ a comprehensive and well documented work by Dr. R Kumar , a former PGI doctor,touching every aspect of healthcare, ranging from corrupt practices in health care facilities to remedies strengthening doctor patient relationship, was released at the Chandigarh Press Club. The work has been published under the aegis of Society of Promotion of ethical and Affordable Healthcare(SPEAK).
SPEAK held its annual conference and an ‘All India Award Function’ on the 26th of February in Chandigarh. Doctors from all over the country will be attending the conference and SPEAK plans to honour good/eminent and ethical doctors on this occasion.
Dr. Kumar in his book giving precedence to clinical acumen has pointed out at the need to cut costs of procedures, medicine, devices and also reduce investigations. While the doctor openly discusses malpractices of the medical profession, he also emphasizes on the misconception about the medical profession fleecing patients.
Dr Kumar mentions the vacuum that exists at the entry level of the medical profession, related to virtues of compassion, ethical values, sensitization to pain and misery, as well as the economic status of the patient.
“Public and private healthcare is ailing under the weight of unhealthy competition, which has resulted in unreasonable medical practice and unwarranted diagnostics and interventions, which may be socially wasteful and personally taxing” says the book giving examples of corrupt practices in medical education, supported through studies.
“ A good doctor is approachable, confident, interested, intelligent, compassionate and caring,” explains Dr Kumar, while elaborating on qualities that go to make a good doctor. He also lays emphasis on doctors having sufficient knowledge about provisions of the IPC in order to save themselves from false allegations and legal suits at the hands of patients.
Speaking about the inherent contradictions of corruption in medical practice, his book says,”Corruption in healthcare is more sinful because it directly impacts those who are already suffering, are in misery, or pain or may be at the end of their lives and may be not in a good financial health either.” On the other hand, the book talks about how a few patients take their doctors for a ride by taking advantage of their goodness and ethics. Dr Kumar quotes instances in his book where patients of this kind may even refuse to pay the doctor his consultation or bargain for a discount at the end of the treatment or maybe even expect the medical practitioner to be on call 24/7, because he is being paid for the services. This, the book says are some of the reasons for doctors adopting business practices which seem unfriendly to the patient; which however, are adopted for self protection.
Dr. Rakesh Kashyap, Director, Health Services present for the release of the book lauded the concept of’ ‘patient first’, and felt that healthcare should be affordable to all and no one should be denied emergency services.
Dr. Amrik Chatha from the US compared exploitation of medical services prevailing in the two countries,and felt the USA was no better than India. However, he added that India being a developing country could not afford the luxury of wasting scarce medical resources, reports Chandigarh Metro.
Dr. Pramod Gupta, a Padma Shri awardee congratulated Dr Kumar for highlighting the ethics of medical practitioners in his book