By Shilpi Kalwani:
My brother Tushar Kalwani, who works in Pune, fell ill on a Monday morning. He had a stomach ache, so he took some medicines considering it to be a normal indigestion problem. The next day, he started feeling feverish and had a temperature of 103. He decided to consult a doctor the medicines he had been taking for the past 2 days had had no positive impact. He went to a private hospital in Pune and was examined by a lady doctor. Later on the case was supervised by another doctor. They did a dengue test, CBC, RMT and urine test.
They told us that everything was normal and prescribed some medicines. But his stomach ache worsened in the evening. He tried contacting the hospital but the doctor was not available on call, and they advised him to continue with the same medicines. After continuing the medicines for one and half days, there was no improvement.
Looking at the severe condition, my parents decided to call him back to our home town Bilaspur. Luckily my brother met a doctor on his journey who was surprised that during the primary check-up at Pune, the concerned doctor did not sense the tenderness in the abdomen area, when the primary complaint by the patient mentioned on the prescription was abdominal ache. He suspected that it is an appendix issue and felt that an immediate ultrasound needed to be done for better diagnosis.
At Bilaspur, we tried to reach as many doctors and hospitals as we could, but since it was Sunday evening, there were no doctors at any private clinic. To add to our plight, there was no clinic for the ultrasound process that was functional on a Sunday evening. We tried contacting government hospitals as well.
The appendix had already ruptured inside my brother’s body in between all these medical confusions. He is admitted in hospital under critical condition. The situation would have been better if he had been diagnosed and operated on at the right time. I am scared even to think of what would happen if I am diagnosed of even a more serious health issue, that too under the supervision of a senior specialist of a leading hospital who may or may not overlook certain symptoms during diagnosis depending on the level of ignorance. Or should I be even more scared to fall ill on a Sunday evening.
I would also like to bring to your notice that when you go to any government or private clinic on a Sunday evening, they will never say to you that the doctor is unavailable or on a holiday because they fear that the person may be from a media house and report something about them. They are trained to say that the doctor has gone nearby and will return in next 15 minutes. You keep waiting for half an hour, and they say the same thing. Until and unless the situation goes out of control, they may take a small step to make a phone call to the doctor. I have personally experienced this thrice.
I hope it reaches to the concerned authorities. I have complete faith in the governing bodies of the country.