The recent episode of Satyamev Jayate hosted by Aamir Khan focusing on the rots of the healthcare system seems to have invited the wrath from the leaders of the Indian Medical Association and other influential medical groups. Some medicos even have threatened the actor with a defamation lawsuit while others have asked him for an apology. However, the shabby situation seen in the Indian healthcare sector is not a new thing. There are many reports of horrific deaths and injuries from alleged medical negligence in hospitals and nursing homes often make headlines not for good reasons. The fact is that Indian healthcare sector is riddled with negligence and corruption. Doctors involved in other activities that are clearly against accepted medical ethics can be found in almost every medical office and hospital. Acceptance of financial benefits from leading medical laboratories for referring patients and expensive gifts from drug manufacturers for writing prescriptions of a specific drug has become an acceptable and shameless practice by many of our healers despite the presence of stringent laws against such unethical behaviour.
The deep-rooted corruption has plagued even the MCI (Medical Council of India). Interestingly, despite the acute lack of regulatory control, private hospitals and nursing homes have not only mushroomed all over country, they are also making enormous financial profit from hapless patients. Khan hosted the television show focusing on corruption and negligence in healthcare seemingly to underscore this popular theme which is of great significance in Indian society today. But the immature response from doctors and IMA leaders to an otherwise unremarkable television programme on a common social issue is really shocking. Before castigating the actor, the IMA leaders should clean their own house by taking exemplary disciplinary measures against their errant medical colleagues to regain public trust and lift the dwindling standard of the healthcare delivery system in India.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan