Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan, a doctor in India has set a cat amongst the pigeons by writing an explosive article on his blog.
In it, he writes that he would rather his daughter took to pole dancing as a means of livelihood than follow him into the medical profession. Dr Roshan’s arguments, well-laid out for all to see, attracted reactions ranging from shock and anger – to sympathy and general agreement.
The blog went viral this week on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. News websites and social networking sites have been abuzz with ‘for’ and ‘counter’ arguments.
As an introduction to the blog, the doctor writes:
“A post for everyone but specifically for doctors:
Do you find yourself increasingly disillusioned with the medical system in India? Would you still recommend joining the medical field if someone were to ask you today?”
BBC.com has posted it on the BBC Trending section.
In the blog, Radhakrishnan cites long hours, poor pay, and the perilous state of the Indian health care system. He quotes statistics showing that India has fewer doctors per head than other large nations, and the country’s relative lack of spending on health. But some of his strongest words were saved for his discussion of an Indian Medical Association study which indicated that three-quarters of doctors have faced some form of violence while going about their duties.
– Mike Wendling, BBC
Asian Correspondent too waxes eloquent on the subject:
The award-winning blogger, who has been posting to ‘God years’ since 2005, writes: ‘With 0.7 doctors per 1000 Indians, the doctor:patient ratio is far below that of other comparable countries like China (1.9), United Kingdom (2.8) and United States (2.5). Spain’s 4.9 seems like an absolute luxury in comparison.’
– Asian Correspondent
One angry citizen, who also happens to be a senior journalist, has expressed anger over Dr Roshan’s preaching. NB Nair writes on Facebook that he considers medical science to be one of the noblest professions, possessing a “godly touch”. He reminds readers also of soldiers who have laid down their lives for the nation with no exceptional monetary gains.
For you Dr. Roshan, material comfort seems to be your priority in life, not saving the life of a fellow human being. You could have chosen a course correction. Who prevented you? Even now, I suggest, you should go for something that gives you happiness, but dont take it upon yourselves to cousel the rest not to join the profession.
– NB Nair in a Facebook post
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently been seen on a major course correction drive in almost all departments of the nation’s administration. Perhaps he should take a look at these points that Dr Roshan insists are the causes of his angst:
That is what being a doctor in India is all about, in the end.
1. You are forced to go to the India that India forgot, the most rural crevices and cul-de-sacs where healthcare is actually needed.
2. You are asked to bang on doors and seek out the ailing.
3. You are asked to bring as many of them as you can back with you.
4. And then you operate on them all for the handsome fees provided by the government (Rs 650/- is given to most hospitals, I hear, though I will gladly accept any revised figure too.)
5. The government cuts its costs by making you do Rs 60,000 surgeries for 600, citing rural service (which naturally does not apply to engineers and lawyers - because these areas don’t need them at all.)
6. The doctor carries the moral responsibility of helping as many patients as possible and so is asked to do work well beyond his physical and mental capacity.
7. Generic pharmaceutical companies will pawn off their goods made in unsterile conditions at a lesser rate.
8. When things go bad, the crowd will calmly ignore the government and pharmacy that cut corners for a profit and be at the doctor’s doorstep with stakes and pitchforks. And celebrities will be there to tut-tut on national television about how doctors are corrupt and cutting off organs for their own profits.
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