Doctors take ‘OATH’ when they graduate the MBBS course. This does not mean that they should serve at the cost of the life. A strong message to all the parents & public on the deterioting healthcare system in India.

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The battle between the intellectuals and illiterates

Yes, this is what happening in India in the current healthcare industry. On one side doctors earn their respect by attaining success in their academics and start serving the people, whereas on the other side, they have to fight against illiterates, dominant, stubborn and egoistic society while rendering their healthcare services.

The quote is a strong message to the Public so that they should be able to manage their family medical emergency situation more maturely and responsibly. One attack on doctor will trigger other qualified doctors not to take the risk of saving the patient. No educated and mature public wish this, and emergency is always accidental and you need a doctor round the clock.

 

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Rationale for this blog post

Attack on doctors is increasing at all corners of the country.

We wanted to take this message to the Parents who want their kids to become a doctor and for the General Public who seek the advise of doctors at one point of time. Our simple question to the readers is “Is it really worth to become a doctor and serve in India?” and we want the readers to introspect themselves and see the situation holistically. 

We also try to bring out the major difference of the healthcare system in India and other developed countries. This will be an eye opener and gives an insight into the working culture and hence make an informed decision when it comes to shaping one’s career.

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Healthcare in Developed Countries

Public Healthcare Funding

In UK the healthcare is 95% Public and 5% Private. Government spends an average 10% of the GDP to health that means they invest substantially into healthcare to take care of their public. All the doctors are employed and has a fixed time. They will also have quality life and are bound by Working time directive of their Government, and hence work not more than 48 Hrs in a week.

 

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Indian Healthcare System

Public Healthcare Funding & sourcing doctors

India spends <1.2% of GDP and still experience huge shortage of human resources especially in Government Hospitals. There is no guarantee on whether the a qualified doctor is placed in the right position or not. Also, when it comes to placing a doctor it should be based exclusively on merit for the sole reason, that a doctor is handling the sick patient and there should not be scope of minuscule error.

 

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Healthcare Infrastructure and Systems & Process

Hospital has a systematic process of managing the patients. Doctors are entitled to do their assigned work and document the same. An average a doctor spends 40% of his time in documenting what they have done as a doctor to their patients. Yes, apart from patient care the only job they do is documenting their patient care. Physicians assistant and Counsellors are empowered so that the doctors time can be effectively managed in patient care.

Hospital invests a lot on the advanced technology and on people to take care of that. They will also uplift the standard of service by practicing evidence based / best practices. All the clinical diagnosis will be substituted by diagnostics test and then document to complete the care.

Doctors will have their time for their family and friends. The quality of life is one of the reasons why Indian doctors prefer to work. They should be only do their job appropriately.

 

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Our multi-tasking doctors in India

The concept of physician assistant is non existent in Indian healthcare system and counsellors are not empowered to take up some of the roles of a consultant. Our doctors work 120% of their allotted work and hardly spend time on documenting, for the sole reason that they have huge number of impatient patience lined up for the day. They multi-task and take up the role of nurses, counsellors and also be responsible for patient outcome. On an average, in India a doctor in Government hospital spends 2 mins per patient and sees around 80 patients in a day.

40% of the medical equipments will be lying down unopened because of lack of right people to take care of the equipments. On the other hand, if they have all, they hardly follow best practices.

The doctors are stressed out at the end of the day and their time is not reciprocated in comparision to other professions

 

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Managing crisis

The role of the doctor is limited to examining the patient and do first level of counselling. Counsellors then take up the major role in coordinating with the patient in educating them about the case, management, further course of action. Doctors will be called for only when the counsellors cannot answer the patients queries. Since the public is educated, they understand better and will follow the instruction advised. More importantly, they are mature enough to understand the limitations of the healthcare. Abusing doctors and other staff, though faced is incidental. The hospital will be secured by professional security people to guard the employees of the hospital. 

 

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In India, Doctors has many roles while facing crisis

Assaulting doctors is common both in Private & Government hospitals. A section of society, mostly illiterates and immature create this crisis and handling them is next to impossible. 

Since doctors take up many roles, they are the easy target. With loose policy, the public is taking healthcare lightly and misuse their rights.

India with low ranking in doctor to patient ration, will be affected even if one qualified doctor move out of the system. The risk to the doctors life is 100 times more when compared to doctor working in developed countries.

 

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Time for family

Check out the doctors in developed countries. They have enough time to go for holidays and update the social media with Photos and videos. They could give enough time to their family and especially kids. 

On an average, they work for around 50 Hrs in a week and if they end up doing more, then they are paid extra and that will be premium charge. The hospital do not mandate you to work extra though and if the doctors take their allocated leave, then hospital is bound to organise a replacement called ‘Locum’. These doctors come and work to cover the duty.

We presume that a doctor lives long because of the quality of life and increased happiness index.

 

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As per our survey

Doctors an average work for 70 Hrs a week and are stressed out at the end of the day. More than 85% of the doctors do not get enough time to spend with the family and not able to give adequate time with their kids. 

The concept of ‘Locum’ doctor was non existent till recently. But it in not a general practice in India. Hospital mandates the doctors to cover the shift as per contract in Private hospitals. Whereas in Government hospital, they have to work in team and cover the duty.

The quality of life is at stake and is always stressed. The incidence of early deaths is also increasing among Indian doctors.

 

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Seeing is believing

Coming to working condition, please check on the video below wherein the Journalists are allowed and given access to the Hospital’s emergency department to study the stress faced by doctors. Even with an average 13 hrs waiting for consulting a patient, the public has huge amount of patience and allow the sick and serious patients to be examined first.

 

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Public behaviour and Government’s lack of support to the system

One can witness the state of affair of Indian healthcare system. Public are impatient, Government is not supportive, no stringent polices and ultimately, doctors are blamed. Is this want we wanted after studying so hard and beat the competition? The trend has already gone and people are not opting doctor as their career option.

 

So doing MBBS and practicing in India is a good option?

Parents who want their kids to be doctors in India, can definitely be happy in the future. Government is sanctioning more and more Medical colleges and if your kid is doing good in their studies, definitely can make it into MBBS. But the challenge is to select the right college. Many new colleges have compromised in terms of having untrained faculties and ghost faculties. Also, number of patients visiting in new private hospitals is too less.

But after they graduate, working in Government hospitals is a great challenge. As per our understanding, it will be the most risky occupation considering the current patients’ expectations. If they get a chance to go overseas, they should really think this option.

 

A caution of advise to General Public

There is a huge shortage of doctors in India. It is a great challenge for the general public if attacks on doctors continues. With huge shortage in healthcare workforce, complemented by decreasing risk taking initiatives from doctors because of attacks, severely hampers the healthcare system.

If a specialist doctor hesitates to see the patient, or sees with hesitation or fear, then the decisions may go wrong. For the simple reason, a doctor cannot work under stress. His mental state to be absolutely free of tension when he takes up bold decisions during medical emergency. With more and more such attacks on doctors, the hospitals are now forcing themselves to bring in some policies to manage such case. Who knows, these may be prompt doctors to get a nod from the government on “Right to select a patient” or “Right to reject a patient”, to safe-guard themselves from such attacks. Then imagine what could be the outcome?