Just like much of rest of the fraternity, the news broke out to me sometime early yesterday. In the midst of our mourning the demise of our great Amir Sheikh Sabah, it was painstaking to even sit through and read the narrations on what happened to a young enterprising healthcare provider.
This is not a problem of the today or the yesterday. It has been around for quite some time, the growing lack of protection and respect for the profession in India. The mob mentality of the literates accompanied by political outfits and not to mention the online vilification.
I personally do not know the circumstances that would have led him to make such a decision. But what I can share though is my experience in practicing unprotected in the peripheral service care centers in Kerala.
- Disrespect from fellow professionals: Letting a colleague out there to fight his own battle rather than providing a helping hand is something I often witnessed. There is a general derision, disrespect for upcoming enthusiastic clinical practitioners, primarily from the elders in the medical fraternity. I have experienced it first hand many a times, with eminent senior colleagues in the frat, letting me to hang out there in the open. It is a hard way to learn to survive, but is definitely not the right way.
- Turf wars: The professional bodies that are meant to protect the rights are clouded with corruption, selective narratives and narrow-minded policies. Archaic colleagues sit in positions of power dictating the manners of clinical practice and general behavior yet again restricting the growth of the exceptional youth.
- The least protected profession: When it comes to spending money on health, both the government and the citizen crib all the time. There is no respect or protection for the healthcare givers. Sacrificing their lives in the midst of a pandemic to alleviate heath concerns of people, the number of times we hear junior doctors all over India going out on strike or withdrawing or walking away from work is common news.
Some of the brightest minds, with humane hearts take up this profession. It is a profession that deals with lives, enabling people to be healthy and hence lead happier lives. India is a large country. We do not have enough healthcare providers. The lack of protection and the general disrespect of the common man will only inspire more people to walk away from joining healthcare professions. It is a problem that is already manifesting and the youth of today are more than willing to be safe and sane than sacrifice their lives for the inhumane.