Public Policy · Society

The Side Effect

Typically sounds like the Hollywood psychological thriller movie of the same name which introduced the side effect of the patient’s disease on the doctor. With a much more practical approach this side effect is the Bollywood version of the Indian Reality. So let’s picture the background of this movie having its genesis in INDIA.

India is a huge country, that we all know;

India is a hugely populated country, that too we all know;

India is a country where this huge population is mostly sick, may be that also we all know.

But do we know that the protectors of this unprotected diseased population are themselves protected or not?

All these years India has been concerned with avoidance of infection in patients and surveillance of Hospital Associated Infections (HAI) whether through HISI or DETE and to the surprise least concern has ever been paid to its implementers- the doctors and the other hospital staff.

The fancy dream told to be truth of the hospital staff includes-

  1. Proper cleanliness in staff quarters.
  2. Proper water purification system.
  3. Proper sanitation system.
  4. Proper air ventilation system.
  5. Proper implementation of safety protocols given by organizations like JCI, BAHM, etc.

Now as happens in every Bollywood movie, the suspense revealed and the harsh reality disclosed. Behind this fancy dream lies the long lived nightmare where all these propers work properly only in a few private hospitals, remember only in a few not all, these includes the high ended hospitals like Apollo, Fortis among others. Whose bank balances are extremely hefty because of the NEFT/RTGS of hefty amounts from each patient’s saving account.

Then comes the other private hospitals, these are only and only concerned with patient’s infection relief system as they are the one who are going to make them the next Apollo or Fortis.

About the staff they neither afford it nor care of it. The 4th and 5th point mentioned in our fancy dream don’t exist in their dictionaries in a literal way, although safety certificates from various organizations can be a part of their jewel box but we all know even if we never show, how this jewellery is bought opps… brought in India.

And now the other twist in the movie- the third story and certainly the most important range of hospitals in India, the GOVERNMENT hospitals having its own class. The sarkari aspatal is the home of half of our population and savior for 90% of it, and is definitely the hero of the movie, the harassed Indian man surviving against all odds, which includes;

  1. Unflushed toilets.
  2. Overcrowded staff quarters.
  3. Drinking water in matkas, if you are fortunate enough to have one.
  4. No passage of air to breath as every single inch is either occupied by a patient or a relative or even a dead body.
  5. The stringent protocols- Forget it!!

In this case neither the patient is important nor the staff, is this the actual picture opposite the fancy dream of a Disney movie, the call of reality?

Then we claim:

Why the doctors go on strike? They too are humans; they do have feelings and insecurities which need to be protected. Why they negotiate with compulsory village practice? With the large scale deficiency in the basic amenities how will they amend the patient’s deficiency. Why the government doctors have private clinics? Does the above conditions are in themselves not the answer of this.

The point is not to prove the doctors right in their every wrong action but to recognize their point of view as well, to see the other side of this situation created or established.

One thing is for sure that it’s us who have given them the status of Angels who protect us, save us but we have underestimated the fact that they are also mortals unlike god and with the environment around them these rakshaks are not able to protect themselves. If they are not safe, how the young mind will survive & if that happens how they will furnish the future as a healthy nation can only be a developed one.

On a concluding note, this undervalued problem has been undermined down for long but for the country to survive, to develop and to smile, this has to be solved. With the new government, this sector also explores a hope, a hope for the beautiful white coats;

Do that beautiful white coat never gets dirty?

Do that beautiful white coat cries to have the red drops of someone, he was believed?

Do that beautiful white coat have a beautiful heart beneath?

Do that beautiful white coat is a human indeed?

With the end of any other realistic Bollywood movie- that rarely blasts the box-office, the climax of this one is also a question – the side effect on doctors will have what side effect on us?

Now we have to see the box office report of this movie on the Indian hearts- a blockbuster or a flop show, the decision is yours……… THE SIDE EFFECT.

About the Author

UntitledDimple is a law student from Symbiosis Law School, Pune, who believes that hardwork always pays off as it adds perfection. A candid straightforward person, she writes poetry and loves the art of paper quilling & combines both for her close ones. Her mantra of life is “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”. The greatest influence in her life is her mother who taught her the most important lesson of her life, which is there is only one way of doing things- doing it right. She is currently pursuing her internship with Alexis Centre for Public Policy and International Relations.

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