Last Friday my grandfather suffered a stroke in the morning. He felt dizzy, and fell down, unconscious and defecated. His eyes rolled over and we almost thought, but with repeated massage he regained some consciousness. He began to wheeze, a sign that his only working lungs in overstretched. Somehow we were able to make him stand, and after cleaning him up we gave him the emergency medicines. He recovered soon enough but due to the fall he pulled his back.
We thought it would be preferable if his doctor would examine him. Since the doctor has a busy schedule and has stopped carrying his cell phone I decided to fetch him from his clinic itself. My mother called the clinic first just to confirm the availability of the doctor. As I went there the compounder told me the doctor would not be available for home, better get the patient to the clinic. Since that was not possible, I decided to stay and have a talk with the doctor. When we finally met, we had a brief chat, he told me fetch me tomorrow, same time. I bode him good bye and left for home. I didn’t fetch him on Saturday. Grandfather had recovered since then.
But the pertinent question remains, are doctors easily available. It is the situation with a doctor in the metropolis, now think about their availability in the rural areas. My doctor was busy with other patients, who came earlier, rightly so, it’s first come first serve. But when there is a case in case of emergency what is to be done. Nothing, I suppose, if you are lucky enough then you will survive.
The problem is not isolated case, and there are two causes to this, greed and scarcity. With the acquired knowledge and huge experience it’s anything but possible to seek for some more resources. The Hippocratic Oath they take gets drowned in the hypocrite considerations. And surge in popularity means more money and more opportunities. Adding on to it, doctors are limited, according to latest statistics the country produces 30,000 doctors a year, whereas requirement is of around 110,000. Fewer doctors mean the more pressure on the existing stock, and if any one proves too good, then he has got the Midas touch. After some time this Midas asks some more for his touch, eventuality one has to pay and dance to his wishes. Scarcity and greed works in tandem.
My grandfather is doing fine, except for the pain at the back which is bothering him. After that we didn’t bothered to take him to the doctor. It was known what to expect from the ECG, and he himself doesn’t wants to be hospitalized. The matter for us is settled but the question remains, why doctors are not easily available?
© Tarun Mitra