Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Whither the Hippocratic oath?

They are supposed to be healers but modern day doctors seem to have forgotten what the Hippocratic oath is. Healing and administering is not a calling; it’s a job, a profession. And the aim? Very simple…make as much moolah as you can, line your pockets and build your fancy house, drive your swank car, take that foreign holiday…at the cost of fleecing others out of their life savings and their homes. Compassion, empathy, caring…that’s all forgotten in the mad racket of lining their pockets.
Look at the corporate ‘five-star’ hospitals. These monstrosities have only one objective in mind – forget all those oh-so-touching ads, posters and brochures with lines like ‘We care about you’ or some other sickly sweet lines dished out by some agency copywriter. Their only care is maximising profits at the cost of anyone. Batteries and batteries of tests are prescribed. Hapless patients with only lay knowledge have no choice but to comply with these greedy and lazy doctors who send them spinning to labs and scan rooms. God help if you decide you’ve had enough and go to another hospital. The doctor there needs to make his/her cut and the hospital has to meet its own targets so off you are sent off, very often, to redo all those very same tests. If you protest, they politely ask you to go somewhere else.
Recently, a friend was in hospital. Apparently at least ten doctors came and ‘checked’ on him. Except for a couple, the rest just read his chart or came and peered at him for a few seconds. Per doctor’s visit he was charged between Rs.300 and Rs.500 for each. How do these doctors sleep at night with a clear conscience when they are cheating patients – spending 5 seconds and earning mega bucks on the patient’s suffering and helplessness.
Apart from their callousness and greed, we come to the next point – their utter arrogance and complete disregard for a patient’s time. At one ENT hospital in the city, the appointment schedule goes like this – for every time slot, there are 4 patients, and each time slot has a five-minute gap. So, to give an example, for 4pm, there are 4 patients, for 4.05pm there are another 4 and so on it goes. Sometimes, you end up waiting for three to four hours for your appointment. But then, docs think they are God and yeah, they are playing with our lives and, when we are sick, our life is in their hands so they take advantage of that mercilessly.
These days it’s rare to find doctors who really care for their patients, who are willing to spend quality time with them. Most of them, especially those in the big hospitals are concerned with only one thing…money, money and more money. It’s sick!


  1. Rs.300/500? They must be doctors down the rung Vini. Specialists will dekko a patient at Rs.5000 and Rs.7000 if you are lucky. If you are unlucky, they will not make an appearance at all!

  2. Jeez...reallY? That is so sick