Spare A Thought For That Friendly Neighbourhood Doctor
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28 June 2010
By Arunima Maji & Seema R
July 1 is Doctor’s Day, observed in memory of Dr BC Roy, former chief minister of West Bengal. For doctors, the day makes them feel special. They dedicate the day to good deeds for the public, offering free treatment through various camps. The state government has directed hospitals, including private ones, to waive off all fees, even registration charges, for patients. Dr Thomas Chandy, director, Hosmat Hospital, tells DNA that the government should not impose such decisions on private hospitals.
What is the importance of Doctor’s Day? What do doctors expect from the day?
Doctor’s Day is like Christmas or Diwali for us. It is a day when doctors reflect upon their duties and responsibilities. A day that makes usus feel special and important. This is a day when doctors expect the public to appreciate their contribution. Doctors expect respect from their patients. We, too, need to feel wanted and important.
The state government has declared that hospitals, including private ones, should offer free check–up to all patients from 10 am to 7 pm on Doctor’s Day. Is the government right in imposing its decision on private hospitals?
The government should not impose such decisions on private hospitals. The private hospitals conduct free and general health check–up camps. Eminent doctors are involved in these. I think the private hospitals are responsible enough, and they don’t need any decisions to be imposed on them.
What is the real essence of this day? What should be the main agenda? Doctor’s Day is not just a day to celebrate being a doctor. It is also meant for creating awareness among the public about good health and healthy lifestyles. Stressful jobs, wrong lifestyles and neglect of one’s health are common nowadays. The real essence of Doctor’s Day is to reinforce the importance of good health, regular check–ups and even planning one’s life in terms of health insurance.
How will this day help the common man?
There will be special facilities provided for patients, like free health camps. Besides, the masses will gain awareness about the various medical facilities available for them. It will help drive home the message that medicine is not the solution for ailments. It is better to maintain good health and make the right decisions about when to consult a doctor. There should be more awareness about health insurance and mediclaims that help people. Simple regular checkups like a blood test for diabetes can prevent many serious complications.
What are you going to do on Doctor’s Day?
I am planning to give a talk on the importance of doctors in society and today’s stressful lives. I will also be talking on the ethical issues and responsibilities that a doctor has towards his/her patients. I will spread awareness among doctors on the need for better communication with patients. I will also treat patients in free health camps.