Healthcare in India – a joke?


I remember speaking to a friend about the current state of affairs of hospitals and doctors in India and she exclaimed “healthcare is a joke in India!”.

Today, is one sad day when I realize it is indeed true. My day started with discussions of (ill-)treatment of one of my PG-mates currently admitted in one of the nearby hospitals. This when she is visually challenged and at least that I thought would be enough for warranting a better treatment. I have been falling ill quite a few times lately. When it happens I trust the near-by Pharmacist more than a doctor at a posh hospital. (uh no, this distrust is not totally baseless). The doctor at my workplace(who works with one of the biggest hospital chains in India) couldn’t diagnose a simple case of sinusitis and sent me to an eye specialist for further consultation! A doctor once told my friend she may have to undergo a surgery for a stomach upset. And I can go on and on.

And then I read about Yuvraj Singh’s cancer treatment being delayed coz one of the Indian hospitals wrongly diagnosed. When it could happen to a Cricket player in India(a demi-god) “toh hum kis khet ke mooli hai?”

Having grown up believing that being a Doctor is one of the noblest of the professions, this just feels sad, the way things have changed. While practicing medicine has indeed become more difficult in the last few years with the rising costs of maintaining the hospitals( trained staff  and equipment) we have help from technology more than ever. The number of super-specialties is so high you can’t even remember all the names: Cardio-Pulmonary Physiotherapist, neuro-radiologist, still expertise and intuition seems to be lacking . 😐 Generally, the number of doctors, hospitals and facilities have gone up multi-fold but trust level has reached an all time low.

Not to forget, most doctors would have spent a fortune to finish their studies. And more than often these people are from middle class and are looking for return on Investment. In most cases, being commercial doesn’t seem so wrong since they are one of the best brains and would have slogged almost half their life to be where they are and all the hospital facilities don’t come for free. But when did the social angle disappear? Where did the familiar family doc go? whom you could turn to anytime and who knew you so well that you didn’t even need to maintain a medical history journal.

If you are one of them, who doesn’t have good health insurance coverage/money/contacts then God save you!

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7 thoughts on “Healthcare in India – a joke?

  1. hmmm sad state of affairs, thankfully i have full private cover ..

    coming to docs back home well thats the reason i have put a question they call it a practise .. all they do is practise upon us ..

    It is true that they have spent lots of money and now that they have a degree they have to earn it all back, i doubt if they care who they wrong on their way, the humane part in humanity is gone and its all about making money …

    We had to shift my mum abroad as the docs in india could not find out what the problem was , the doc here found it in ONE thorough check up , she needed a valve replacement.. and the doc in india was talking of heart transplant… this is the difference..

    saying that my dad had more faith in the pharmascist he had been going to for decades then the doctor …

    a good point you have brought up…

  2. I so know how it feels… Having been on both sides… i.e. accompanying a family member a guardian and working with a hospital.. you have to know how it works and find a doc who has personal interest in your case or is actually honest, committed to the profession.

  3. Its indeed sad that we have such a poor medical facilities at hospitals. And Doctors, dont know, how they graduate and get their degrees, but their negligence ruins somebodys health and endangers their life. Even i don’t trust hospitals more than i trust a pharmacist in some cases.

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  5. some serious stuff!

    my grand mother told me – when my dad was 5 years old, there was doctor who could diagnose without the actual diagnosis and give medicine to almost any disease. If he says, it is no use treating the patient, no one else in India would take up the case, for it is worthless for humans to experiment while gods to bless!

    He was indeed a god, and he saved my dad, my aunt (dad’s sis) and uncle (dad’s bro) from very serious illnesses to life with just a few medicines and excellent diagnosis.

    The story was from – Srikalahasti. Dr’s name is Mr. Venkataramaiah. He passed away before my dad got married, as I remember. Otherwise, I would also have been touched by his hand, almost god’s.

    Oooh! my stuff! excuse lady!

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