As a practicing doctor of over 40 years, I am often faced with and come across difficult situations. While in the army, tackling these situations was quite easy for me. We were well trained and our only role was to give our best to our patients. Our patients being army personnel or their relatives had full faith in us. We were loyal to our patients and our patients loyal to us. We were confident that our patient got the best possible. All were happy.
Once I started practice as a civilian doctor the scenario suddenly changed. I noticed that the doctor is being pulled between his Hippocrates oath and his need for survival. The attitude of the patient is also different. The doctor is mentally tormented as they find it difficult to give the best to their patients. The patient too is unhappy as they know that they are not getting the best in terms of treatment.
A few incidents in the recent past have motivated me to start this blog. I desire to share my experience and expertise with my doctor friends and also educate the common public on patient welfare, through quality health care at reasonable costs. Being an ENT specialist, majority of the topics will be related to my specialty.
Like in every field the Health care sector too is evolving dynamically. Today, provision of health is called “Business of Health Care”. Doctor and health care providers are at a cross road wondering what to do.
Traditionally, the family doctor provided care – where love, faith, trust and confidence were the foundation ensuring that the patient usually got the best. The family doctor was like a family member who provided guidance following their heart guided by their knowledge.
The Indian health care vision is unfortunately becoming increasingly profit oriented influenced by the western insurance controlled health care module. In the west many a times the insurance decides the treatment plan. The same is creeping into the Indian health care sector. The result – increasing health care cost in India.
I am given to understand that in some corporate hospitals, doctors are given targets. This is ridiculous. Doctors cannot create disease! Nor should they be unfaithful to their patients! Pharmaceutical companies too have added fuel to the fire. In this scenario, the patient is the greatest sufferer. We, as doctors have to take the upper hand and help these unfortunate patients who are at our mercy.
I follow a simple mantra “Patient welfare over Patient satisfaction”. If I can achieve both it is best, I always choose patient welfare over their satisfaction. By this I do keep the interest of my patients foremost.
How to untie this knot and ensure ethical quality health care, at a reasonable cost, to reach our patient, is a challenging proposition. My efforts have been in this direction and we at Shravan try to address this to a very large extend. I propose to discuss the Shravan module in my coming entry.