Swapneel Shah

swapsshah in dreams!!!

In India, the entire medical system is groaning under the weight of sheer numbers… …

with 2 comments

From the last few days, I am at my home-town-village Vaduj trying to take care of my Grandfather… Vaduj, a small village on the Pusesavli-Singnapur road, thirty-one miles south-east of Satara, is the headquarters of the Khatav taluka… I am spending hours here everyday… These 2-3 days spent in the best hospital here, gave me a actual sense of what these lines in my earlier post on Karunashraya mean “In India, the entire medical system is groaning under the weight of sheer numbers… …”.

Today morning as I get some space to sit outside the OPD, I see patients queuing up for access to the doctor from as early as 6 am… Patients need to register their names in the queue and then keep on waiting and waiting and waiting for the doctor… I walked over to the person registering names to check the queue… 76 (seventy Six) was the number!!! And patients continued to pour in… I got to know that 100 (hundred)+ was a normal figure on any given day… The clock said 10:50 already and the doctor was still to arrive… The doctor came in at 11:30 ish is done with all the patients in 60 (sixty) minutes flat irrespective of the number of patients… Incredible!!!

Off course you have the facility to jump the queue if you can shell out 100 bucks; the usual amount being 50 (+- 10/20/30) depending on the condition of the patient…

After getting to know this, as I was about to turn back to claim my place back in the OPD, I saw a patient carried into the hospital by two people… One person holding the legs and the other holding the back side-ways… The patient was literally yelling in pain with his all possible breath… As he came near and passed the lobby; the sight… One could not only count all the 256 bones in the body, but maybe could have measured each of them accurately… The sight was like one of those scenes from the movie Pathology. There was no real reaction from the crowd than a pin-drop silence followed by fading whispers from some females as the business resumed. I turned back to the person registering names expecting a response…

His expressionless face said- “Divasaganik ek-don ase patient yetyati…” (We see 1-2 patients coming to hospital at this stage everyday)

I didn’t knew how to react, but just managed to get back near to my place and managed to stand still… (My place was already occupied by a old lady patient, from whom I could not think to reclaim it back…)

A few others that I still see and wont go out of my sight for some time:

-The old man being walked by his relatives on both sides… The diameter of his turban easily beat the width of his shoulders…

-The patient who not able to bear the pain of the treatment, repeatedly made almost successful attempts to run away from the General Ward…

-Don’t feel like describing others…

Numbers… The entire medical system is groaning under the weight of sheer numbers…



Written by Swapneel Shah

September 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

2 Responses

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  1. The situation of Indian Medical System is same everywhere, be it in a small village or the Capital Delhi. I have seen insides of A.I.I.M.S and Safdurjung hospitals with their roof leaking during the rains with more patients lying on the corridors then the hospital beds.

    The underlying problem here is not the Medical System but the population of our country. No medical system can cope with such a population and where a great part of it is still hovering around poverty line. I want to praise and applaud all the doctors who are working in the government hospitals as they are the truly maintaining the prestige of this honourable profession. No body can understand the pain of poor people better then them. Hats off to them, for sacrificing lucrative monies of private clinics and devoting their life to actually serve the society and this country.

    I am sure we can forgive some minor frivolities of theirs like being late or being rude or to an extent I even don’t mind their charging some minimal bribes… as they too have their families and the pay given to a govt doctor is hardly worth a mention.

    Prashant Murarka

    September 30, 2008 at 11:01 am

  2. @Prashant: Yep, Indeed the Indian Medical System is groaning (A low sound associated with extended suffering, sorrow, and toil.) under the weight of sheer numbers (population)… And this is depriving people with even the basic medical needs all over the country…

    And yes, there is no doubt that the doctors, hospital staff, etc. are doing a remarkable job!!!

    Swapneel Shah

    September 30, 2008 at 11:18 am

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