VIPism is an inherent ingredient of India’s VIP culture that has come to define our routines. It has become so intrinsic to our day-to-day lives that we cannot imagine our social life without it.
And government hospitals including AIIMS are one of the best places to see this social curse live into action.
Now it is a well established fact that government hospitals and government health care services are den of corruption. Who can forget the killings and corruption in the National Rural Health Mission?
Corruption is at every level, from ward-boys to doctors. Local purchase of medicines, spurious suppliers, private practices by doctors and convenience fee are norms here. The rot has become so deep that it has left the government run healthcare system and officials mostly with incompetent or insensitive doctors for whom money is the only criteria (and mantra). For them patients are nothing but unwanted intruders whom they just somehow want to drive away.
Condition has deteriorated to the level that no one, who can afford private treatment, goes to a government hospital. Yes, the irony of the Indian masses is, though its private healthcare system provides a formidable alternative, it is still limited to metro and urban India, (and largely scavenges on its subjects’ hard earned money). So the vast swathes of our country are left to its insensitive, ineffective government run healthcare system.
Where AIIMS is different – is the quality of healthcare professionals and facilities it offers. They are unarguably the best in the country.
But the difference ends here.
The basic thing that is required in a doctor is his humanitarian approach – that how he treats his patient – irrespective of his caste and class. AIIMS is the same bad place like the other government run hospitals when it comes to this. Its doctors and nurses may be experts and efficient but when it comes to treating the human subjects, they leave humanity at bay. AIIMS is the perfect example to show how rude doctors, nurses and other hospital staff can become. And corruption, well, can we discredit AIIMS corruption unearthed by its chief vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi?
Yes, AIIMS now look neat and clean but there are different reasons for it. AIIMS is in Delhi and is in consistent focus of a state government, a national government, national media outfits and Delhi’s population that effectively reacts. Different sting operations done on AIIMS by different media outfits reveal where it falters.
There used to be a saying that doctors are next to God. Now doctors have twisted it to ‘doctors are next to devil’. And like doctors and other institutions, AIIMS, too, has contributed to it.
If we are talking about AIIMS, we all know that here either only super-VIPs including the President or Prime Minister would go or those who cannot afford the treatment anywhere else, including the patients with complicated cases. Yes, AIIMS does get a consistent inflow of patients who can afford treatment anywhere but if they do so, it is basically about its doctors and their expert opinion. But it doesn’t come easily. Senior professors and doctors of AIIMS behave as if they are super-elite and maintain their exclusivity. They remain incommunicado. Now if you have patience to waste your three-four days, there may be some chances that you can see a senior doctor there. And those who can afford this much time sure try their luck there.
And since almost of the doctors are laggards when it comes to adopts the basics of humanity in the human behaviour, it reflects in the behaviours of every other staff member – nurses, lab-technicians, clerks, receptionists, ward-boys, guards and so on – and it the so-called systems they follow – the classic case-studies of how to harass and turn away people.
The basic thing is when you start addressing a 70 year old person in the same vein as you address a 20 year old – with no courtesy and politeness – instead with a rudeness that smacks of elitism and high handedness – you lose it all. They have forgotten that they are just doing their jobs for which they have been trained. They are living in a fallacy.
The basic problem with today’s doctors is – they are fast losing their humanity. And it has become chronic in government institutions. And AIIMS Delhi is no exception.