Sunday, September 14, 2014

Should noble necessarily mean no bill??

Again, Neeya Naana takes credit for the theme of this post. Few weeks back, the team didn't just open the Pandora's box, but set it on fire when they raised the question of unnecessary master health check ups amidst a group of doctors with the antagonists in victimised public. Hell hath no fury than a bunch of doctors scorned. They took to every form of media available to pour their ire on the show, host and its director. I happened to watch that episode, which actually had a poignant moment, when a poor couple had brought their blind kid, blinded by negligence shown by the very doctors. The premise of the show, to examine the real reason and motive behind the numerous health check-ups ordained by doctors got lost in due course when people started preaching about the goodness of the medical profession and how holier than thou they are as compared against their colleagues from other work streams. They kept quoting Hippocratic oath in various versions of it, than spelling out their motive and reason behind the check ups. No one...I mean..not a single person in the doctor side, was able to justify the reason for those enormous bills behind the master check ups nor where they able to justify the tests that they include in them. It was a very valid question posted by the audience which no one was able to answer. The chief guest who came in the end, he openly admitted that government has set norms to regulate these check ups and how fallible they are in real sense. One guy even went to the extent of saying that for making sure the machines which are being imported by the hospital give good ROI, they need to have such tests being conducted.

I cant say whether medical profession should be seen as noble, as it was originally meant to be or be more practical in this cynical world and stick to the fact that even doctors need money to survive. I've no issues against them making money. Nor do I question colleges and schools charging so much money in form of fees. But when it goes to the extent of fooling the ignorant consumer, its then one feels flustered. To run their institution, if one dumps unnecessary tests on poor patients, its a criminal offence. If there is a real need of a building fund and if a school demands donation towards it, its worth it, to some extent. But just to promote and encash their brand value, when they begin to charge more money, its then it borders on being criminal. Same goes for government too. No issues with them charging toll for the roads they lay and for the maintenance work. But when those toll booths outlive the very roads and still charge exorbitant amount of money, its that when one feels like demolishing them.

We are slowly, steadily and with increasing speed, head towards a society where nothing is sacred. And what was once sacred, that which were not money spinner professions then, like for example doctors, teachers, barbers are now neither sacred and they are sure shot big time paycheck winners. Its like glaciers melting away into water only to sink everything around them. At times I feel, the very concept of human system and society, demands certain sections to remain as down trodden. It requires certain set of people to suffer. It survives and feeds on the misery of certain sections to thrive. Without which, it fails to make sense. Even if one sticks to rule to the letter, beyond a point, it refuses to retain its meaning and becomes more dictatorial. Neither is democracy the answer for one and all. My bet is, within the next decade, the world would witness a new form of society. One that would be driven by the ultra rich. There would be just two sections that would survive into the next half of this century and that would rich and poor. There wouldn't be any religion or caste or creed. But just money, that which would run the show. And then the world would begin to cleanse itself - off humans.

P.S: 1984 and animal farm padicha epect..Orwellian nightmare :)

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

A serious issue - I didn't watch the Neeya naana programme, but have some strong views on this subject.

In most other transactions, the concept of buyer beware prevails. You enter into a commercial transaction of your own free will. This cannot be applied to the medical profession since the buyer cannot be aware. We rely on specialist advice from the medical professionals and have no means of judging for ourselves.

Therefore the only way I can see to protect consumer interests is to allow plenty of competition. Competition always regulates prices. Patient reviews will determine which doctor or hospital to go. In India, something like this is already happening. Mushrooming of clinics and labs has actually ensure price stability. Minus them, we would have been paying 10 times the prices we do today.