Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Respect thy patient

Healthcare doesn’t begin with the facilities we are offered at different hospitals. This is actually disease-care. Unfortunately ours is a society that is disease conscious but not health conscious. Health consciousness begins with what you eat and how you live. The source of most of the diseases is our life style, and what contributes most to our health problems is the quality, and kind of food we consume. In our part of the world the way the quality of food available in our markets is deteriorating it is bound to create a crisis, if it has not created one already. One can observe that the discussions on the status of health in our State have a major theme, and that theme is the quality of food we consume. It is now a known fact that the deterioration in the quality of the food we consume has brought terrible results to fore. Studies show a sharp rise in dangerous diseases, like cancer, largely attributed to food. Experts have been underlining the implications of the junk and packaged food. What has also come under focus is that spices, red and white meat, available in our markets need a strict vigil. Today we are again confronted by this threatening scenario that adulteration, and other ways of compromising quality, in such items is a real problem. Not long ago we saw some unscrupulous elements operating from Dimapur involved in adulteration of food, including fruits and spices with various adulterants, laced with dangerous dyes, etc. The concerned departments also took some actions against them. In this action huge quantities of adulterants were found. Howsoever, we don’t follow things to logical conclusions. We tend to believe that this could be an isolated case of adulteration. And that is where we go wrong. The food items available in our markets pose a threat to our health, and the concerned authorities will have draw a comprehensive plan to weed out the unwanted elements from the food shelves, in our markets.
Indeed healthcare has come a long way since times immemorial from traditional forms to scientific ones and assumed a significant posture in the contemporary times due to skyrocketing ascendency in the number of ailments and diseases. The intervention of technological inputs and paraphernalia has lent a renewed impetus to the state of healthcare the world over. Today health-related issues have created a sort of furore all over the society. No family is aloof of the health related problems, and thus medical intervention is the need of hour, where the role of doctors assumes a central importance and patient’s role comes secondary. In the system of healthcare, the key concern is the health of the patient, although, respect and care of the mutual entities vis-à-vis each other is imperative. No doubt doctors as the saviours of the human beings need to be treated in respect and kind regards. Their hands create a state of balance in the unbalanced unhealthy human beings. The patients are the bruised souls with hurt hearts and may sometimes out of mental stress behave impolitely with the doctors, or even their attendants. This is where the role of medical ethics comes into play. Patience of the doctors can be tested at times, but persuasions, motivations and ethical conduct can override the rage and fury thereof. It has often been said that doctors are blamed for all the ills in the health sector. It has been argued that doctors cannot change the healthcare system; it needs policy interventions of the Government. But this is a weak excuse; doctors can change healthcare by bringing a paradigm shift in their behaviour and consultations. Unlike in the past, most doctors in Government or private hospitals don’t talk with the patients. Flanked by fellow doctors and nurses, they just look at the patients chart; prescribe more medicines and goes to see the chart of the next patient and so on. Even during consultations after paying large sum as consultation fees in private hospitals, most doctors act as if they are doing a huge favour to the patient by seeing them and are often discourteous, and sometimes outright insulting. This is where the egos get hurt and bruised. Doctors’ words can make or break the bond of patient-doctor relationship. Doctors should love and respect their patient (not just because the patients are paying them) and then only respect for doctors will automatically flow in the long run.