Whether it is a pre-pandemic period or the post-pandemic period, doctors & healthcare workers never fail to prove their worth by going out of their way to save the lives of their patients. As per Indian Medical Association (IMA) around 798 doctors died during the 2nd wave of COVID-19 while performing their duties. After the pandemic, the role of doctors and other healthcare workers has significantly increased in the community with an increase in the number of patients, an increase in duty hours making them real-life heroes.
So, every year on the 1st of July, National doctor’s day is celebrated all across India to acknowledge the incredible service done by the doctors who selflessly aided us during times of crisis to save the life of the people. National doctor’s day was started on 1st July 1991 to pay tribute to the honorable Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy for his exceptional contributions to the medical field. Also, 1st July happens to be his birth and death anniversary. National Doctor’s Day 2022 will be celebrated under the theme “Family Doctors on the Front Line”
The main purpose behind celebrating this day is to create awareness among people on the importance of good health. But do we actually treat them as our heroes? The physical assault against doctors and healthcare workers is increasing day by day. The cases of stone-pelting and spitting on the doctors and healthcare workers have been found at various parts of the country. According to the reports suggested by IMA, 75% of the doctors in India have faced violence at some point of time in their life. The emergency and ICU are the most violent venues. Violence against doctors is like another epidemic. In the long run, the threats and violence can lead to an excruciating experience in the life of physicians resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The factors responsible for the increasing violence against the doctors:
- Lack of communication between the patients and doctors:
The stressful environment of hospitals and the busy schedules of doctors causes a lack of communication between the patient and the doctors. This leads to the rise of misunderstandings and rising toxicity between them.
- Dissatisfaction with the treatment done by the doctors:
The mishappenings occurring during the treatment by doctors can also lead to a rising distrust between the patient and the doctor.
With the increase in private hospitals and their inclination towards a capitalistic mindset, the ideology of noble service is fading away slowly. Instead of quality of patient care, the focus has shifted to numbers and “targets being achieved” in terms of patients seen in OPD, investigations, and therapeutic procedures done, and often the doctor’s reimbursement is based on these numbers.
The increase in corruption among doctors has led to a serious problem. Since patients solely rely on doctor’s recommendations for curative treatments some doctors tend to misuse it. Overpricing the services, prescribing unnecessary medicines or recommending treatments to load their bank accounts, results in doctors tarnishing the image of the entire medical community.
Irrespective our medical doctors work tirelessly for us and their protection from such violence should be the top priority for us as well as the government. We must understand the success of the patient’s result is not completely in the hands of the doctors. Overreacting and releasing anger on the people who are trying hard to save the life of your loved ones is not justifiable. Therefore, the government should bring strong reforms to protect the dignity and the life of the doctors by a) Strengthening the Security of the hospitals b) Strict actions taken against the verbal and physical violence c) Language translators especially in the medical tourism industry can be leveraged to prevent incidents of miscommunication.
As civilians, it is time we act responsibly and maturely. “One life is given by your mother and another by your doctor.”
“Protect the life of those who protect you!”