Sunday, May 27, 2012

Comment on Aamir Khan's episode on medical practice

Dear Aamir
Happy to see you raise the issue of medical malpractice and lack of ethics in the medical profession. The natural corollary of this should have been a strong message for regulation of medical practice and the profession. It was heartening to see that the failures of MCI projected. For your information the Maharashtra Medical Council took away the license of one doctor, Dr. Shriram Lagoo, incidentally who never practiced medicine! Was happy to see Dr. Gulati but was disappointed that you were advertising for Dr. Devi Shetty and the model of the Arogyashri/Yeshahswani types of insurance which is further destroying the public health model and encouraging huge malpractices like the unnecessary surgeries  of hysterectomies, cardiac bypasses for very low level of blockages by misreporting results, or sometimes the surgeries only happening on paper similar to the basin tests you talked about. The height of malpractice was in UP where insurance passed claims for hysterectomies in men and prostrate surgeries in women!!
Further while it was great to see Dr. Samit Sharma and his outstanding work, It would have been better if you had also discussed the Tamil Nadu model where the focus is on strengthening public health facilities and assuring that all medicines are available free to those who come to the public health system. The Rajasthan model is important to the extent that it helps regulate markets but it cant be an ultimate solution. You yourself agreed with Dr. Gulati that the same kind of healthcare should be available to all whether poor or rich. It would have been great if you had projected some success stories of the public health system.