Saturday, May 4, 2013

La Tomatina for Modern Day Healthcare - touching Lives!


By looking at the heading “modern day healthcare- Touching Lives”, most of you’ll surely scream for an amendment – “modern day healthcare- Touching Wallet”. I would humbly ask for your apology and join discussion in open forums to chuck at least a dozen of rotten tomatoes/eggs to the existing health system and the ‘butcher-like’ healthcare providers disguised in white coats! By sitting in your cold cabin you escape this summer heat which otherwise would have driven you nuts… but I know, this state of comfort is another itch… You want to be more dynamic, more social-aware and most importantly, more intellectual. So, when your wife points out that your monthly family medical bill has exceeded your expenses for beverages, or her beauty care bill, you couldn’t suppress the wounded lion in you to roar back… a roar against those ‘greedy’ practitioners of medicine and the whole unkind algorithm involved in the investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of your diseases, injuries, and other physical and mental impairments in you. Now if you’re one of those footpath-sleepers I know you don’t have idle time in abundance to waste in my article and I can only pray the Omnipresent to settle your unbalanced score with the health policies of our country which are scripted in the penthouse of our possessive political poles.

As you’ve accepted my apology, now come out of your London dreams and imagine of a neighbourhood or, a large hall with 100 beds with 100 people, tossing and wriggling on them. They are having violent cramps in their tummy, profuse diarrhoea and severe vomiting. In few hours their bodies get rid of so much water that their blood thickens, eyes shrunk deep down their foreheads and skins get shaggy. It doesn’t take much time to follow the stairway to heaven leaving a heap of corpses scattered on a floor flooded with puke and poop! Oh did I tell you they died of Cholera epidemic? Thank God, Modern day Healthcare wasn’t there to advocate water hygiene or detain those departing souls with few bottles of intravenous fluids and some antibiotics… yes, I know how irrationally pricey those antibiotics are! So, here’s the first rotten tomato from my basket for the Healthcare in miniskirt…

By the way, have you watched the 1970’s Bolywood movie ‘Anand’ where the protagonist peacefully passes away in few months with lymphosarcoma of intestine (a fatal tumour of intestine)? When he was diagnosed of the disease it had spread a lot inside his body. Thank God, there was no such fashionable diagnostic methods in those days like Ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI, Radionuclide imaging or PET scan, otherwise the cancer patient could be detected in early stage and sucked out of his hard earned savings in the name of cancer chemotherapy/radiotherapy/surgery just for another 10-15 years of survival! Yes, I understand how much fortune those Imaging studies suck… Come on, why should we care for the cost involved in those technologies? We enjoy doing post-mortem on doctor’s interest from prescribing them and that’s what all we care about. Here’s my second rotten tomato for the Healthcare advancement…

Let’s gossip about some historical tales. In your schooldays did you ever come across that story of Dr Edward Jenner, who had crazily inoculated an eight years old sick boy with the germs of cowpox and prevented him from dying or living with the deformities of Smallpox? One freaking act revolutionised the immunology and saved more lives than any other whimsical discoveries by other scientists. While about 300 millions died of smallpox in 20th century, one bold step by the British physician eradicated the mystic disease to the extent that the last known case of smallpox was found in Somalia in 1977! Well, we don’t have enough logic to bash this issue… but as we said before, it’s history, not the part of modern healthcare right? So, let me aim my third rotten tomato to this rapidly developing (hard to catch!) modern healthcare…   

Did you know that few hundred years back patients were tied with ropes from head to toe to operate on them? It’s too cinematic to see a screaming man with bleeding body and few professionals (may be barbers at times!) cutting through his muscles and organs with carpenter like tools! Fortunately most expired, I mean took the stairway to heaven, being unable to withstand the unbearable pain and the rest died of sepsis in few days… cool! Of late, surgeons take the scapegoats (us) to spaceship look-alike operation theatres, give us a prick or gas of anaesthetics till we fall asleep and then they do all sorts of cut-copy-paste on our open-body. When we regain consciousness we yell with postoperative pain and they give us painkiller liquid through our open veins or the pigtail fitted to our spine (they call it epidural) to keep the pain away for some time. The biggest blow we get when we’re handed over the bill before the discharge. We had a pain-free operation and a 5-star stay but does it mean that the shrewd healthcare would strike our dream for world tour or daughter’s grand marriage ceremony? Here’s my fourth rotten tomato for this opportunist healthcare…

Hey do you remember when your better half got pregnant… right in the middle of pregnancy you two had decided to opt for an elective Caesarean section delivery? Bearing that animal-like labour pain was no question for your tender spouse in lipstick. You wanted to get the best of options to gift her healthy child by comfortable delivery. Finally one day your first baby was born in the odd hours of night by the ‘paid’ and ‘taken for granted’ intervention of some insomniac obstetrician. When you threw a party to your colleagues, you forgot to narrate many things but didn’t forget to mention ‘the hospital has ripped off my parse fully!” I didn’t forget that either, so, here’s my fifth rotten tomato for the burglar modern day healthcare…

Last year one of my staffs when faced a debilitating road accident got his left lower limb amputed and later he was made to walk on his legs again with ‘Jaipur foot’… sadly, he lost the lifelong chances of relaxing on a wheelchair. One of my uncles was fitted with a costly pacemaker device when his heart rejected to beat. Today when a school kid watches someone dying of fever in television melodramas he wonders “Does anyone die of fever too?” This is the timeframe when programmed robots operate on living human bodies, an age where we give a visit to the clinician after breaking our spectacles on web-searching our disease symptoms. All these are due to over-ambitious rise of modern day healthcare… I wish I had another 5 rotten tomatoes to throw but there has been a recent hike in the rate of tomato… I couldn’t afford more at one go!

We won’t lower my voice until the healthcare promises to be my free armour or the doctor takes not more than 50 paisa for prescribing a 1 rupee Crocin (paracetamol). We’ll continue the candle march against the over-demanding modern day healthcare till the healthcare provider mellows his audacity to write a list of money-hungry investigations when we visit him with our apparently ‘simple’ fever or headache. We’ll bypass health insurance showing our brotherhood with 100 crores of Indians who can’t afford it. Either we’re part of this Government or too decent to raise our voice against it. Moreover our political culture and tradition has taught us to be obedient citizens of this largest democracy. So, the only hare we can hunt is the Modern day Healthcare that is trespassing to touch our lives. There’re only two things that unite people, either fear or interest. So never mind, I’ll join you back with chilled beers and my basket of rotten tomatoes to aim the soft culprit again… till then hold on your complaints, preserve your hatred and checkout cutting edge medical care… hopefully, tomato price will come down as the summer heat retreats.

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