Dr. Devil

A year ago, Bollywood launched an action-cum-zealot movie whose lead character was based on the film industry’s most popular and infamous villain, Gabbar. In the movie ‘Gabbar is back’, there is a particular scene that corroborates the truth behind my choice of the title ‘Dr. Devil’. The aforementioned  scene takes place in a hospital.

A poor lady mourns her husband who just died in the hospital and to add to her grievances, the hospital is refusing to give her medical insurance that which she is entitled to receive. Ergo, Aditya [Akshay Kumar] tries to mollify her and assures her that she will get her insurance claim. He then brings the dead husband’s body to the doctors who are unaware of this predicament and tells them to treat the dead husband saying that he hasn’t got much time, he is in a critical condition and other melodramatic atrocities to emphasize the need for immediate treatment that can’t be prolonged for filling a form.

The doctors immediately take the Late husband to the ICU and realize that he is dead. What they didn’t know was that he was already dead long before they took him to the emergency ward. They thought that if they admit he is dead then they won’t be able to make any money from his corpse but if they declare him alive, then his family would have to pay for his medical expenses and thus that would proliferate their personal finances. Bottom line, their plan couldn’t reach to its fruition and the protagonist forced the hospital to pay a sum of 5 million bucks to the old lady and the hospital was forced to do so because of its fumble doctors.

GabbarThe point is that a couple of decades ago, one would take medical science as a profession only if he wanted to serve people by curing ailments and healing injuries. Medical practitioners were seen as benevolent public  service officials who aimed at providing optimal healthcare facilities and stoic treatment to all their patients.

Today, there is no such thing as healthcare services. It has evolved into an industry. And like all industries, it engages in  active profiteering. It is no longer a mission for saving lives but a business that involves monetary loss and profits. Whether the patient receives adequate treatment by the medical fraternity of the hospital or not is of no importance. Neither is his death or survival. All these supposedly primary functions of hospitals are now trivial concerns. The only thing that is important in the medical industry is how much can a patient profit the hospital in terms of fiscal gains.

Today even the well-educated Indians are afraid of medical operations which are acclaimed to be grotesque and mortifying. People prefer to suffer by diseases than going to the hospital. It has also led to the rise of herbal treatments and patients actually prefer to be cured by liquids and tonics derived from plants and not modern sophisticated machines in private hospitals.

Well-trained doctors have been deployed in villages in rural areas but those doctors have opened up their own clinics in the vicinity of the village accustomed to them and devote much of their time in private medical practice.

It is a sorry state for India. Corruption has crept in politics, police and now even hospitals which brings up the concluding question. Should we honour the medical professionals on this Doctors’ day or boycott it altogether as a forbade to every corrupt doctor? It is obvious that every doctor has not succumbed to the temptation of profiteering in the medical world but where are they? Why don’t we hear about them? Even those indulging in private medical services tend to save lives but it is an act akin to an act of god. Is it justifiable the profession of healthcare to the fallen one? Who knows but then why are educated Indians so afraid of medical treatment that they even fail to mention their misery when sick in order to prolong seeing a doctor?

Words- Kshitij Sharma

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