Is it a Crime to be a Doctor in India?

Guest article by Dr. Neeraj Nagpal

From the spirited defence of its gaffe the NCERT has planted a question in my mind that is it a crime to be a Doctor in India? Instead of apologizing for slanderous statements published in standard textbook they have sought justification in the form of 200 “eminent” persons’ support. The signature campaign to gather support for their obvious error is symptom of a much larger and a much widespread malady “hatred towards our healers”. I am surprised when such a simple option exists and it is so obvious to authors why then they and 75% of the population prefer private healthcare providers to Government facilities. According to the authors, the Government hospitals are paradise on earth but who drags them to private healthcare establishments.

A seventh standard child who is being fed such drivel is an innocent mind. He is in no position to understand that “cost of treatment” is not what is paid by the patient but the cost to cure. AIIMS conducted a study in 2012 on what it costs to get a laproscopic procedure in AIIMS. Including what the exchequer spends and what the patient pays they reported the cost to do a laproscopy procedure as Rs 50,000. I have a nursing home and in 2012 our cost for the same to the patient inclusive of everything was Rs 30,000. Even today anyone can get a laproscopic procedure done at our centre for much less than Rs 50,000 it cost in AIIMS 3-4 years ago. How then is the cost of treatment in a Government no profit center any cheaper.

Despite all allegations of kickbacks against all doctors the cost of any investigation today is atleast 10 times cheaper when compared with any developed country. This is when equipments used in USA and India are all of same manafacturers but are much more costly in India. We want compensations for medical negligence at par with the most developed nations but want to pay 1/10th the cost. Consultation fee of a private doctor in India is less than 50 times the cost in USA/Australia/UK. But the private doctor in India is a cheat as per those who decide what our children should be taught. I hope they are prepared to pay compensation if any child of a private doctor suffers trauma due to bullying and ragging which he has to undergo from friends and classmates who are taught such rubbish.

It is an open secret that a criminal can turn easily into politicians some of whom still continue to be criminals. A murder or two in the past is an asset for ticket seekers. Does the NCERT 7th standard textbook consider it necessary to teach the student who can “grapple with concrete experiences without being brainwashed” that all politicians are criminals. It is known that a nexus exists between lawyers and judiciary to get favourable judgments. Corruption in police, taxation authorities, is also well known. Casting couch is an established fact in our film and fashion industry. Electricity water supply connections cannot be gotten without greasing appropriate palms. How disputed properties are amassed by those in positions of power illegally is open secret. Does NCERT dare to publish such “facts known to all” in its 7th standard textbook. No it is simply the private doctors who will not retaliate who can be labelled as cheats in minds of a 7th standard student so that tomorrow when he assaults a doctor in the emergency ward of any hospital he does so with a justification.

My request to IMA, please do not go to press on this issue. Sue the NCERT authors, and NCERT for an exemplary amount. Take example from the HC judge who sued TOI for Rs 100 crore for erroneously publishing someone else’s photograph with his name. All states do not require the court fee to sue someone. The case can be filed in state where this issue of court fee will not be a hindrance.

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