Saturday, December 8, 2012

Are we finally gonna outsource healthcare

I was talking to an old colleague of mine from Bangalore, who is preparing for the post graduate medical entrance exams;she works in a hospital as a resident for a monthly salary of 5000Rs (for eight hour shifts!) It shouldn't be bad because the people i spoke to weren't surprised.
There was an article I read in Readers Digest 'three days that shook the world' ... on the last three days of the Soviet reign, I was indeed surprised when i was told  that in Soviet Moscow a cab guy makes more money than a scientist.
Today I see it in Bangalore. A rickshaw wallah would make that money in a day here,what she would take home in a month.

So u wanna tell me medicine is not about money? Well its not about money after all. its about self worth and self respect. We have a system here where highly qualified people have to work in subhuman conditions, and are paid peanuts for it.
I have been in this area for almost a decade. I ve seen a lot of things i wouldn't wanna acknowledge
publicly, because i don't want the lay to misuse it against my colleagues.
But i do accept there is a lot of rot in us... nobody supports that.
and its a thing,like the black sheep in families... its a health care system that we have that has allowed the doctor and the patient to rot
Societies trust its health on its best.The best kids used to enroll to medical schools after a fiercely competitive selection process.The physician was a much respected man.
Post independence we adapted a system of healthcare that just started collapsing right at the whistle and in a few years many doctors started their own private nursing homes,and those remained the only alternative to the public who wanted to escape the 'system'  n then with the turn of the millenium  we had the corporates who discovered profit in the sufferings of their fellow brothers.
As with all of our policy plannings and implimentation we showed the same short sightedness when we planned our health care system too.
Maybe we lacked someone like Tommy Douglas, but time and again a chance was offered to us, but alas no. we did nothing.
A senior colleague, a surgeon fell ill on duty, was admitted to the same emergency unit he was in charge of and discharged after a few hours. The Hospital did give him a bill for his treatment! even we, on the inside feel safe if we have Medical Insuarance, despite spending a significant time in our day shadow boxing with the insuarance doctors  to get clearence for investigations and treatment for our patients
Insuarance companies make profit by denying payments. and that my friend is the naked truth
and here we are blindly aping a system which has failed in its orgin country. Universal Health Care was the wave that carried the black man into the White House
And the health care providers of tommorow?....  A decade ago, the creme of the 17 year olds wanted to be Doctors and Engineers... today they want to be Merchant bankers and Telephone operators
its the second and third rug taking up medicine
And they become a disillusioned lot when they collect their first pay check, their internship stipend of 1500 Rs.
"Higher Education is self financed" gloated a big mouth... shell out premium tution fees for ur medical education
well sounds like bad business to me.
so in the near future we would run out of quality in the profession.
less people would find it attractive to enroll in a suicide mission
and then we would ve to outsource our health care providers like how they do in the middle east
But who would come for the peanuts we throw?

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