Monday, August 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Sudden death and doctor’s nightmare

Dr S.K. Jindal in his article “Sudden death is a doctor’s nightmare” (August 1) has succinctly articulated the views that doctors often express in their drawingrooms.

He is right when he says that a doctor is not a party interested in death. The most unfortunate development in patient care in the recent past has been that in the fight between a person and the disease, the doctors are being seen to be on the side of the disease. The truth is that the doctor is always with the patient and against the disease. Quarrelling with the doctor after an adverse outcome of a disease process is becoming frequent, though it is just like quarrelling with the General after losing a battle. On the top of it at times the doctors are made to face judicial or media trials just like petty criminals. Whatever the outcome, the General cannot be and should not be blamed to be a supporter of the enemy.

Till just a few years ago, the doctor was given the credit when a patient recovered, blame was passed on the fate for a lack of recovery. But it has reversed now. Now credit for recovery is given to the money spent (“after all we paid for it!”) but the whole blame for lack of recovery or complications, if any, is always laid on the treating medical man. Even in accident cases, violence is directed against the doctors sparing the person who actually caused the accident.

It is high time that the society starts appreciating that the medical men are its most important tools in its fight against morbidity and mortality.

Dr Sandeep Kumar, Barnala

Why medical negligence: I fully subscribe to the views expressed by Dr Jindal. The doctors in postgraduate hospitals are highly experienced, brilliant and dedicated people. Their bad luck is that nobody reports the serious cases they treat and complex operations they perform to restore health to the ailing humanity. But if there are isolated instances of medical negligence, these are blown out of proportions.



I know about hospital administration because I have worked in the PGI for two years. Ninety per cent cases of medical negligence occur in accident cases. When the victims in their critical state are taken to the emergency wards, they are not given immediate attention because doctors are busy in other serious cases.

The fault does not lie with doctors but with the system. In none of the hospitals the emergency ward is properly designed. Even the PGI, Chandigarh, does not have adequate space in the emergency ward considering the number of cases it is receiving. The only good thing about the emergency ward is that it is air-conditioned. In other hospitals, the situation is worse. It becomes the duty of doctors to put their heads together and ask the Director of Health Services (or Director in case of the PGI) to design and equip the emergency ward with proper medical parameters. Till this is done, the cases of medical negligence will continue to be reported and doctors dragged in courts.

In countries like the USA, an ambulance immediately reaches the victim at the place of an accident and takes him to the nearest hospital. The medical staff is already waiting to receive him and the victim is given the best possible treatment. Why cannot we introduce the same system for accident cases in our country in general and Chandigarh in particular?

Alternatively, the Chandigarh administration should set up a few trauma centres in some of the sectors whose exclusive function should be to reach the nearest accident site, give first aid to the victim and send him to the PGI, General Hospital or the Sector 32 hospital.

Ram Niwas Malik, Panchkula

Who retires voluntarily?

Any type of VRS is bound to fail in India because the majority of the government employees in the country are already enjoying the leisure of retired persons on full pay and allowances. Office is a cosy place where an employee can sit in comfort and discuss politics, cricket etc with a on AC or a fan or a heater and a peon in attendance. Mutual funds have emerged another interesting subject to keep the workers busy in view of the large sums of money received as arrears in 1996.

So who will opt for voluntary retirement? My India, especially my lazy Hindu sense, leads me to guess that probably a few top bureaucrats stand to benefit from it. Wait and see.

The current situation is the result of senseless employment-oriented rather than work-oriented recruitment. There is an unproductive concentration of employees in cities and towns while the rural areas cry for attention. Gandhi wanted the President of India to function from a village; let us start by posting a few IAS officers and some subordinate staff in villages where India lives.

L.R. SHARMA, Solan



Fellowship for Hans

The decision of Punjabi University to give its first lifetime fellowship award in music to Hans Raj Hans is a sad one. Even though Punjabi University has claimed to take on the responsibility of reviving Patiala Gharana, yet it ignored genuine musicians, singers and shairs who had done something in reviving century old, but dying Patiala Gharana traditions and cultures.

Ustad Baqaur Hussain, the last descent of Patiala Gharana in the country who is living at Malerkotla and currently engaged in grooming youngsters, has been ignored by the university. Puran Shahkoti and Hans Raj Hans were his disciples. Ustad Husain Khan Sahib did not migrate to Pakistan after partition. Puran Shahkoti, the guru of Hans, Singh Bandhus, classical vocalists of international fame, Dr Baldev Narang of Jalandhar are among the genuine ones left out by the university for this fellowship.

I am not against the nomination of Hans in any way as there is hardly any doubt about his credentials as a singer but there were many who deserved the award. Hans is an excellent folk singer but lust of money also prevailed upon him which forced him to shift to pop music to the detriment of folk and Sufiana Kalam which he said he represented. As a friend of Hans, I criticised him for singing “Main nashe mein talli ho goya, ki kariye, ki kariye”. He took my criticism very supportingly.

Punjabi University’s wrong move can prove to be disastrous for genuine musician and singers but at the same time my learned friend Hans Raj Hans also committed a blunder by accepting this fellowship.


Trivialising news

In an exclusive interview to The Tribune Justice P.B. Sawant, the outgoing Chairman of the Press Council of India, is reported to have observed that most of the larger newspaper houses are falling prey to populist journalism — printing nude and semi-nude photographs, obscene advertisements, salacious reading material and generally trivialising news — and that their focus is only on increasing their circulation/profits and in the process giving a goby to their social obligations and responsibility.

Justice Sawant’s observation, albeit gloomy and painful, seems incontrovertible. What a horrendous trend — stark commercialisation of the vital newspaper industry!

As far Press freedom, in actual practice it seems meant for the publishers, editors and, above all, the Press barons. For the common man the cherished freedom still remains a far cry. How sad!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una) 


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