Missing remedies: on West Bengal
doctors' strike (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2 : Heath
Prelims level : IMA
Mains level : Healthcare system in India
- An attack on doctors at a medical college hospital in Kolkata over the
death of a patient has become the focal point of an agitation by medical
professionals that is causing distress to tens of thousands.
- There can be no argument against the doctors’ primary demands a safe
working environment and measures to ensure that unsuccessful treatments do
not become a trigger for reprisals.
- The Indian Medical Association, which seeks to look after doctors’
interests and the well-being of the community, has endorsed the demands and
called for a strike on June 17.
- Whatever the provocation, the violence that severely injured a doctor is
indefensible, and the guilty must be brought to book.Yet, the remedy cannot
lie solely in new legal provisions for offences that are already covered by
special laws in some States, and in the Indian Penal Code.
- On the other hand, there are clear factors that are deepening the social
- Chief among these are neglect of the public health sector, unaffordable
treatments under a predominantly commercialised care delivery system, State
governments’ reluctance to fill vacancies in public hospitals, and the
increasingly high cost of medical education in the private sector.
- Some of these concerns were underscored in a review of violence against
doctors by the National Medical Journal of India two years ago.
Highlighting the incident
- The effort to end violence against doctors and medical professionals
must start with the understanding that doctors and patients do not have an
antagonistic relationship, and barriers to care created by systemic
deficiencies need to be eliminated.
- In the Kolkata case, it should be ascertained whether there was a delay
in treatment due to manpower shortage, as the patient’s kin claim. The
police statement indicates that a communication breakdown aggravated the
situation. It did not help that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a hard
line against the agitating doctors early on, without giving negotiations a
- Considering the consequences of the breakdown for patients in several
States where doctors have responded to protest calls, it is essential for
Ms. Banerjee to reach out to the medical community and restore normality.
- The IMA should help arrive at a solution that can address the concerns
of both doctors and patients.
- To institute better systems to counsel patients and remove unreasonable
expectations about treatment outcomes.
- The NDA government’s National Health Policy, which commits to raising
public expenditure on health to 2.5% of GDP, must pay as much attention to
scaling up infrastructure and the capabilities of government hospitals.
- As to providing financial protection for treatment in expensive private
hospitals. It is the public hospitals that the poor come to, looking for
Q.1) Consider the following statements.
1 . It is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site.
2. It was once a Silk Road hub.
3. It was in news due to its recapturing by state arm terror groups.
4. It had been under Roman rule in ancient history.
The above may refer to?
Correct Answer: B
Q.1) To what extent an upgrade of public health care is vital for the
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