This goes out to everyone who has conveniently and shamelessly remained silent on the recent attacks on Junior Doctors/Interns in West Bengal.
3 days ago, an 82 year old man suffered a Heart Attack and presented to NRS Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata [State Capital of West Bengal]. He may as well have other medical conditions that come with age. The doctors on duty in the Emergency Department started the required treatment but unfortunately the patient could not make it.
Now, does this incident sound so devastating that a group of people [allegedly 200] manhandle the Emergency Staff and physically assault an Intern on duty that day?
Dr. Paribhaha Mukherjee did just one thing wrong. And what is that? Be on duty in Emergency in a Government Hospital of India. You don’t expect that your work will get you killed or make you suffer from life threatening injuries because Medicine is a noble profession. Therefore, even if you get killed in the process saving someone or are attacked by angry relatives, do not complain.
I say it again, do not complain. When you signed up for this job, when you stepped into a medical college and took your oath, you were bound to be forever subservient to:-
- The System
- Your Seniors
- Their absolutely loving and caring attendants
You said Yes! You committed to this non yielding, abusive, torturous relationship and now, you have the audacity to complain and more so- dare to demand basic human rights? Seriously? Who are you?
- An Intern who just completed 4.5 years of MBBS and are now learning patient care? Along with working as a clerk, filling up forms, making discharge summaries, charting vitals, doing ward rounds, attending to totally ridiculous requests [Read orders] by patients such as “My kid vomited on the pillow, change the pillow cover and give us a new bedsheet as well”. Right away, ma’am. Right Away.
- A Resident in the Labour Room who has not slept in 24 hours but needs to be locked in a closet to save her own life, because a female baby was born? I guess, that’s okay. I am bringing a new life into the world, this is a part of the job.
- A Doctor-on-Duty in Emergency who attends to all sorts of patients who present with a stomach ache to a Myocardial Infarction and gets yelled upon, pressurised, physically assaulted by the relatives/attendants because they did not think you were giving the right treatment or the patient dies? Deal with your own shit. This is not anyone’s problem.
- A Consultant who has spent more time in the Hospital [Read Dead House] than their own homes, could not attend their kid’s school play or Parent-Teachers’ Meeting because the OPD was hectic, provide fee waivers to old patients, give away free medicine samples to patients who cannot afford them? Umm… Hello? But what about your counterparts who give the costliest treatment and charge double the fee and loot patients?
For every Doctor that takes his/her patients for a ride, there’re a hundred others who think about how to help their patients better in their free time. And I am not even bragging.
Death is inevitable. You cannot avoid it, how badly you may want to. We, as Doctors cannot prevent every patient from dying. But that does not mean that we do not try to the best of our abilities and knowledge.
Your relatives will die, you will die. We too, will die. Or perhaps brutally murdered by you because we were on-duty and doing our jobs and maybe, going beyond it.