I am an intern at a hospital in Gujarat and I have something to say; a message that I want to send out to people.
A lot has been said and written on this issue, and it is not going to stop anytime soon. As everyone is aware, the medical fraternity has called for a nationwide strike to protest against the rampant incidents of violence against doctors and paramedical staff. This is a grave issue and needs to be addressed by the government authorities as soon as possible.
Will there be a definitive end to this violence after this uprising? Probably not. At the most, a legal mandate will be passed and hospitals will get more security. Laws will never prevent such atrocities from happening because the perpetrator doesn’t think of the law in the heat of the moment. Added security won’t stop the violence either. If anything, security personnel will get beaten up in addition to doctors.
But that’s not enough.
Should we bear these violent acts? Definitely not. Are these acts justified? Definitely not. A legal mandate is necessary to punish those indulging in such acts.
Let’s face it. We are in an era of rising mistrust against doctors, and the media or government isn’t helping. To add fuel to fire, there are a few members of our fraternity who engage in negligent practices. Working in such an environment is a huge deterrent. What then? When will a definitive change be seen?
When the mob mentality changes.
Security will come into play when violence is going on. Laws will punish the perpetrators after the violence has occurred. But a change in mentality will prevent the incidents from occurring in the first place.
People aren’t in control of their emotions in the heat of the moment. Everyday people receive news of the death of a loved one but not everyone resorts to violence against the medical team. Those who do, hold the doctors responsible for it and with violence, they go overboard. It is this mentality that needs to be changed. It is always going to be impossible to explain to people the exact medical science behind the events that have occurred and Dr. Google is always present to ruin the matters further.
Improving the communication is key to preventing this violence. That is all we can do from our side. The smoother the communication with the patient’s family, the better it is for both the sides. Of course, it goes without saying that the government has to support us. That is without a doubt, the need of the hour.
In no way am I against the strike that is going on. The response from the West Bengal government is the worst one could ever hope for, and this uprising is totally, 100% justified. If the government is hanging out its doctors to dry, why then should anyone pursue the field in future? It has turned into one of the most unforgiving professions that exists. After all the years sacrificed in gaining the best possible knowledge and skills to improve healthcare, if a doctor cannot expect the least bit of gratitude for the efforts he/she has put in, then it is definitely not worth it.
This post is in solidarity with the entire medical fraternity all over India.
This is an appeal to the human inside every non-medico reading this post – STOP THE VIOLENCE.