By Puneet Gupta #OPINION
We have all read about the Doctors going on strike three days ago and also read all sorts of complaints about doctors being irresponsible. Fine, I get your point of view but I cannot agree to it and I am not sorry about the disagreement either.
I don’t personally sympathise with the doctors of Jammu and Kashmir over strikes. But, it is very important to know the working conditions of these doctors that we so often love to hate.”The doctor did not pay any personal attention to my XYZ“, is the common grievance.
Consider the following scenario:
1. You work in an office which does not hire many people in the first place. At first you feel privileged to work in the place because you were among the thousands in your state who aspire to be in your position.
2. You thought life would be all fun and joy having a secured future once and for all. And Suddenly, reality dawns upon you. You alone are doing the amount of work that eight people should be doing. That easily means that you would be spending loads and loads of extra time. Even worse, you are not paid for overtime.
3. Then you come to realise that you are not paid as well as your colleagues in another branch of your company and those people are doing half the work you do.
4. It is not that you are inefficient in your work but being overloaded you are naturally slow. Your boss understands this but not your clients. For an error that stems out of circumstances and not your fault, you are screamed at, hurled abuses at and beaten up. OFTEN!
Now the question is whether YOU, Sirs and Madams, would love a job like this? I am more than certain that NO, you would not want a job such as what is described in the four points described above.
THE SITUATION OF DOCTORS IN GOVT. HOSPITALS IN JAMMU
The doctors in GMC or SMGS Jammu actually work in the above mentioned conditions. Shocked? What you probably did not know is the fact that in many departments, the Resident Doctors and those pursuing Post-Graduation are required to work for 36 hours at a stretch and that too thrice a week. There is no Over-Time money paid for extra hours.
In the departments such as Gynaecology or Medicine, for instance, there are 4-5 doctors on duty. There can be twenty serious patients admitted at any given time. The doctor works hard and saves two patients but the third patient’s condition worsens in the mean time or as in severe cases, the patient dies.
I understand that the doctor could not reach the patient in time and that is why a patient, who could have probably lived, died. But, is it really the doctor’s fault who saved two patients or is the Administration which refuses to increase the number of doctors such that the heavily skewed up doctor to patient ratio can be matched more evenly?
Any given day there are upto 80 patients who get admitted in the Emergency Department in the hospital and there are over 220 patients that are already admitted. And for the 250+ patients admitted there are only 130 beds. The rest of the patients are ADJUSTED on trolleys. Why will not the patients get angry? But MORE IMPORTANTLY what are the authorities doing to change the despicable situation?
Leave the doctors, why would anyone want to be in a profession where the person perpetually lives under a life threat?
The next time you think a doctor at GMC or SMGS or any other government hospital in Jammu did not PERSONALLY attend your relative, please keep in mind that that doctor is probably thinking of the third patient who is on death bed too. And if you really want to question someone, question those higher in the authorities and in the bureaucracy. Their utterly defective planning is to blame.