The case against Aamir Khan’s view of doctors—II

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: After Aamir Khan stirred up a hornet’s nest with his show about the misdeeds of doctors, I seem to have done the same with my article, which some people have seen as a defensive act from a member of the medical fraternity.

I have received many letters from viewers of the show and my readers too who have vented out their gall at the heart-rending sorrow of the victims and my audacity in protecting the image of the doctors supposedly responsible for it.

Apart from the two cases I discussed last week, many have challenged me to disprove him on the other counts where he has revealed many more misdeeds of doctors. I certainly will do so in full measure before I pull the curtain down on this matter, which I do not intend to do in a hurry.

I stepped in just because I felt that in showing what certainly seemed to be the main issue of that episode, Aamir Khan certainly picked on two very wrong cases to prove his point about all that has gone wrong with the practice of medicine in our country.

***

Yes, medical practice is no longer as sacrosanct as it once was and there is a lot that needs to be set right if it has to serve the needs of suffering humanity.

While someone attempts this, I would like to remind society here that a lot needs to be set right if medical practice has to serve the needs of practising doctors too.

If only Aamir Khan had done a little bit of research to locate some real cases of medical malpractice or negligence and ferreted out the real incriminating evidence behind them, before presenting them before his audience, he would have done some real service to society.

Moreover, instead of just presenting one version of what happened it would have been most appropriate and fair to all concerned if he had simultaneously or immediately after, given a chance for the doctors or the hospital managements to present their defence.

This would have made it more interesting and lent the utmost credibility not only to his show but also to his image and intentions. Of what use is any re-buttal if it has to be done through some other source or on some other platform? Even now, it is not too late for him to arrange this in one of the forthcoming episodes and I hope he does it.

***

Coming to his accusation that most doctors prescribe only expensive, branded drugs even when much cheaper generic alternatives are easily available, I would like to set the facts right here. It is true that for every branded drug there are at least a hundred cheaper versions readily available in Indian market.

This is thanks to our government’s policy of allowing anyone with a little money to ‘buy’ a drug manufacturing licence and start making a killing. Beyond this shred of paper that ensures complete legal immunity no other infrastructure whatsoever is necessary to set up a drug manufacturing plant in a tin-roofed shed, located in a seedy bylane and ply this lucrative trade.

Most such drugs do not have any drug inside. So, what goes into these tablets, capsules or tonics? They contain either plain chalk powder, sawdust or sweetened and coloured water.

If this seems like an exaggeration, why do we regularly have incidents in our country of spurious and sub-standard drugs and even vaccines killing the people who happen to receive them?

Why do the drugs dispensed by our government hospitals fail to bring down the high fever that bends the bodies of the poor patients who go there, while the same drug prescribed by the very same government doctor but dispensed by the private chemist across the road quickly puts them back on their feet?

One of my former professors at the Mysore Medical College who valued his integrity and honesty more than the instant material wealth it would have brought him, refused a promotion and returned from an administrative posting when he was pestered by spurious drug manufacturers to accept huge bribes and clear their pending applications.

He chose to remain in his almost non-paying teaching job, preferring to sleep on a pillow of a clear conscience rather than on a bed of currency notes. Today, without exception whatsoever, every one in the city respects him as the best example and embodiment of the rare qualities that one seeks in a doctor.

And, for this uprightness, he also happens to be one of my guiding beacons and I turn to him for the right counsel whenever I am faced with a professional problem or a moral dilemma.

***

The companies that manufacture branded versions of drugs have a reputation and a track record to protect and they will therefore get periodic quality checks done by authorised agencies to uphold the set standards.

In this respect, many reputed Indian companies and multinational manufacturing giants who have invested much money into research and development naturally keep the prices of their products a little high. This is understandably inevitable and we have to accept the fact that quality can come only at a cost.

It has now become a fashion to simply blame multinationals for all our problems.

Yes, multinationals may be exploiting us with their expensive products and in doing so they may even qualify to be called anti-nationals but at least they give us safe and effective drugs. If your doctor insists on your buying a particular brand of medicine, it is often because he or she has established faith in it.

On the other hand, if you end up buying a generic drug whose manufacturer is unknown and whose quality can therefore never be ensured, with what confidence can he or she treat you?

People may accuse doctors of yielding to the enticement and pressure of pharma companies but that is not the whole truth. If only generic drugs are permitted to be sold in the country as some people wish, the profit margins to the sellers, instead of the quality of the drug, will decide what the patients get.

I would prefer to give up practising medicine altogether if I have to do so without any control over what my patients get as medicine.

That is why all my prescriptions carry a line in small print at the bottom that says: “Responsibility for this prescription ceases if drugs are substituted, redispensed or sold without a valid bill.”

***

Aamir Khan while talking on the show and also before a Parliamentary Standing Committee yesterday about the need to promote generic drugs to keep treatment costs low should have taken a little trouble to ascertain the sources of drugs dispensed at most of the government hospitals across the country today.

As far as I know, we should be surprised if any of these drugs happen to be from any of the top 20 trust-worthy drug-manufacturing companies, which are operating in India. This is thanks to corrupt officials and politicians who rule the roost.

It is an open secret that heavy bribes have to be paid at every stage, to get oneself on the list of drug suppliers to the government healthcare sector and also to get tenders passed from time to time.

Therefore, it is no surprise that as each bureaucratic milestone is painfully crossed, the quantity of the real drug in the formulation naturally keeps decreasing until only the chalk powder, the sawdust and the sugar-water that I talked about, manage to reach the final destination!

***

Common sense should tell us that good drugs that really work, can only come from good companies that can get the prices that do justice to their quality control and good manufacturing practices.

In our country, all the good intentions of a doctor who insists on any particular brand of the prescribed drug can be derailed by many agencies.

With the already prevalent suspicion in most patients’ minds, just a whisper that the doctor is on the payroll or patronage of a drug company, from one dishonest chemist who wants to sell a brand that pays him more, is enough to convert doubt into conviction.

Patients must understand the fact that the best advertisement for any doctor’s capability is the efficacy of his or her treatment and in this respect, no doctor will endanger his reputation by prescribing a drug of doubtful quality simply to get a cut from any pharma company, as alleged on Aamir Khan’s show.

The great Khan further talked of needless lab tests that doctors order just to get commissions from labs who in turn recover these expenses by issuing reports without actually doing the tests.

While I do agree that most labs these days pay cuts to beat competition and stay in business, I do not think any decent medical lab would issue reports without performing the tests. If this practice exists, it is only at the slimy bottom of medical practice where the most unethical practitioners of the art operate and it is no index of the integrity and honesty of doctors in general.

But when something as ugly as selective female foeticide does exist in our country, and since some medical doctors have been found guilty of it, we cannot completely deny the existence of these ‘unperformed tests’.

***

Since doctors too have now been brought under the purview of the consumer protection act, litigation has become easy and cost-free for any disgruntled patient. Patients can now file cases against doctors at the drop of a hat over the most frivolous issues and doctors who used to spend their leisure hours unwinding in tennis courts, are now forced to spend much time and money in standing and defending themselves in law courts.

Very often, they have to be at the receiving end of adverse and financially burdensome judgements, as they cannot prove the correctness of their actions on the strength of paper records and reports.

Because courts go only by material evidence while deciding cases, doctors now to indemnify themselves against litigation are forced to order a plethora of lab tests and also go in for higher and higher malpractice insurance. Naturally, unknown to them, it is the patients themselves who end up paying the cost of these tests and the premiums for these insurance policies.

The commissions paid by labs are just a side effect of this sad development and they are actually not the main cause for the unnecessary tests, which now have to be accepted as quite justified, considering the present scenario. The labs have to resort to this unethical practice because they have to stay in business and recover their investments after paying the steep interest on their bank loans.

Today, it is no surprise that more than 75 per cent of the wide array of lab tests that doctors order, is what the consumer protection act has forced on them. The moment this act came into the scene, the sanctity of the relationship between the patient and the doctor that existed over the years died forever.

With just one stroke of the law-making pen, the sacred Vaidya of the age-old Indian shloka: ‘Vaidyo Narayana Hari‘ was unceremoniously tossed out of the hospital window.

Now, like how it happens in a Shakespearean tragedy, the scene has changed completely and the patient is only an aggressive consumer and the doctor only a very defensive service provider.

You may argue here that not all patients are aggressive and vindictive. But how are we to decide who the good ones and bad ones are, beforehand?

***

In this cat-and-mouse game, Dr Jekyll can become Mr Hyde and vise versa, without warning.

We doctors regularly see not just really aggrieved and wronged patients turning to the courts but also those who did not like the outcome of their treatment. There are records of people having gone to court with false charges simply because hospital bills were not waived off or reduced as requested by them.

I know of many patients who attribute all that befalls them later to the ‘wrong’ treatment that they once received at some hospital.

Similarly, I routinely encounter women who blame the tubectomy operation they underwent decades ago for all the aches, pains, coughs, colds and cancers that they now suffer from.

I have once seen the inside of a consumer court as an expert witness and I did not find it a very comforting or friendly place. While watching the proceedings, I noticed charges being traded left and right by litigants, like paper missiles, without any regard to the wisdom enshrined in any textbook, either medical or legal.

Now I do not intend to revisit the place, especially as a defendant.

What I am going to say here may shock you but even I am guilty of ordering some ‘unnecessary’ lab tests sometimes in my practice. However, these lab tests are only unnecessary from the point of view that if I am fully honest, I really do not need their help to make a diagnosis, which is where all lab tests are meant to help us.

I order these often expensive tests only to keep myself and my practice safe from any medical malpractice litigation. Very often, even where I find the diagnosis staring at me in my face, I never proceed to announce it or treat the condition before I get the verdict straight from the horse’s mouth.

And, here my helpful horse is the friendly neighbourhood diagnostic lab, which is naturally a pretty expensive horse to boot because of all the expensive equipment it bears on its back.

In the event of the need to treat some poor patients, which I do quite often in my practice, I ask the patients’ relatives to simply sign an undertaking that they cannot afford the cost of the recommended tests and are therefore willing to go by my clinical diagnosis.

I then quickly keep this precious document in my bank locker, which I have hired just for this purpose!

For me these uninvestigated cases are the most comforting ones to treat, as they, while making me feel like a real doctor from the good old times, do not impose a strain on my conscience.

Coming to the really pathetic portrayal on Aamir Khan’s show of the plight of women from Andhra Pradesh who seem to have been subjected en masse to needless hysterectomies or removal of the uterus, I am almost certain that this must have been some kind of an insurance racket involving unscrupulous middlemen and it needs to be investigated fully. All those found guilty, including the doctors if any, should receive the most deterrent punishment.

These days whenever patients get themselves some kind of medical insurance, agencies which would have sold them the policy, often prevail upon them to make the best use of the cover before its term expires. They do this to make the insured persons feel that investing on the policy was a worthwhile expenditure because it helped them to get treated for some ailment, real or imaginary.

While most of us would be happy not to have needed our medical insurance cover, many people especially from the lower strata of society, feel cheated if they have to get it renewed year after year without putting its benefits to any use.

I regularly come across many patients who are desperately impatient to put their medical insurance to some use and it is often a difficult task to dissuade them from doing so.

Very recently, a lady came to my clinic with a medical insurance policy for Rs. 1,000, which she had received as a compliment for buying a crate of dish-washing soap. Under its cover, she wanted me to certify that she was under my treatment for which she was willing to share 50 per cent of the amount with me.

When I did not oblige she went away complaining that I was so unhelpful in getting her what was legitimately her due under the policy. She would perhaps have even felt that I stood my ground only because the miserable incentive was not large enough to make me abandon my principles!

***

Aamir Khan should understand and accept the fact that the medical fraternity he is lampooning on his show is guided and governed by many complex issues that deal with life’s most complex and elusive problems.

Practising medicine is more of an art than a science, where two identical problems often do not respond identically despite identical lines of treatment. When it comes to medicine, he is after all only a layman and medicine certainly is not his cup of tea like how it is mine! I wish his attention now shifts to something he understands better.

For instance, the black money that keeps the projector wheels turning or the close liaison between the film industry and the underworld. But that takes the kind of courage that this kind of Khan perhaps does not have in him.

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where this piece appeared over two weeks)

Also read: An open letter to Aamir Khan from a Kannadiga

CHURUMURI POLL: Aamir Khan vs doctors?

The half-truths of Aamir Khan, the truth fountain

What’s wrong if Aamir Khan exposes ‘butchers’?

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31 Responses to “The case against Aamir Khan’s view of doctors—II”

  1. the colonel Says:

    dear Dr. Mr. whoever you are. please tell me:-

    1. what is army medicine and who practices it in bangalore????

    2. Are you the I.M.A. (the less said about it the better).

    3. Explicitly and implicitly tell me what is the ratio 50:50, 60:40; 70:30, 80:20, 90:10 of nefarious doctors.

    yes we do know the way medicine is practiced (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    today so do not become a gasbag.

    face reality.

    and finally say that you are sorry!

  2. harkol Says:

    Mr. Nayeem:

    Amir wasn’t lampooning the Medical Profession. He made it a point to bring in people who are well respected within Medical Profession too.

    All he did is to expose the black sheep and racket that is being run in the name of healthcare industry. And inspite of what the industry folks say, it is a public knowledge that as with everything else in India, health care industry too sucks.

    Wanting to correct some of those wrongs, and wanting a better deal for majority of Indians is all Amir did. It can’t be anyones case that pointing out the malaise of some professionals equals to Lampooning a profession itself.

    So, sir – Give it a rest.

  3. Goobe-ganda Says:

    Very convincing. Having grown up in a family of doctors, I was pained to see how easily Amir Khan passed judgement on cases where he has no expertise. That he is now educating our idiot mantris is only befitting.

  4. Doctor Says:

    Being a doctor myself, i can relate to every word written in the article. However i am also aware that it will be criticized by the general public (for obvious reasons). I have my relatives who would never wear a piece of non branded clothes on their body, but when it comes to buying medicine, they want cheap & generic medicines from the doctor. The malady lies in the thinking that your health is not your own but your doctor’s responsibility. A person who spends 50-100 rs per day on Pan & Gutka will ask for a concession from doctor when he develops oral cancer.

  5. ravindra kudur Says:

    What is evident in your long prose is that you are more a defense lawyer than an impartial observer. The case in point: for every drug company manufacturing spurious drugs, I can come up hundred doctors who are not worth the paper their degree is written on. Doctors get their license or education by the same system that allows poor drug companies to thrive. Doctors practice with poor ethics and or poor training in the same tolerant currupt society as these manufacturers make a killing. Doctors flaunt their status with out deserving as much as the drugs that have no substance inside. It is the doctors who promote these illicit companies in return for gifts and at the same time badmouth them in favor of multinational companies after receiving better gifts. The company that gives refregirator is better than the company that gives dinners. Yet the company that pays for foreign trip is much better than the company that paid for updating the office.
    It is a two way street for rich and poor patients are being run over on both sides.

  6. Deepak Says:

    The author clearly is having a guilt complex and every line of the write up proves it. His parting shot against Aamir is cheap. The program has hardly completed a few episodes, so how the hell does the author know that Aamir won’t talk about the ills of his own industry?

    And if the author feels medicine is not a science, but is an art, then better that he petition GOI to scrap MCI and bring medical courses under Art and Culture Ministry!!!

  7. Lingaraj Says:

    Thanks for raising these issues sir. Acknowledging the complexity is essential, reducing it into black and white does not help the cause. If the program intends to have real societal relevance and a meaningful impact, it should move beyond trivialising issues. May be they should consult a full fledge research team specific to the issue.

  8. santhosh Says:

    Cry baby! Patients are aggressive consumers? Women blaming tubectomy for their aches and pains! You must be kidding. Completely lopsided, shoddy, defensive piece of garbage. Let’s not even bother to discuss the defense of Pharma companies! To cap it all Practicing medicine is an art rather than science? Feel sorry for this artist’s customers!!!

  9. raj Says:

    the fact the public has to understand is the issue is not new. It will be a continuing challenge and solution has to come from all quarters. govt, civil society, pts organizations, regulatory authorities, legislation. .. As a matter fact there are whole lot of people who are working towards this cause (activists, lawyers, doctors, social workers, journalists) They all stress that the matter is a complex one and it does not have a straightforward solution…..

  10. Anand Says:

    It is a silly show, no doubt about it, dealing with serious issues colloquially.

    But the medical profession and MCI is not above any blame. It is absolutely resistant to any form of change to keep up with the times. Even a simple proposal like issuing printed or typewritten prescriptions, has been stonewalled for a decade. You tell me how many doctors print their prescriptions, or okay, even write their prescriptions legibly in block letters today? And do prescriptions include their registration number? Hell, I have to quote my PAN number everywhere today, why not doctors their regn. number? It is the age of the Internet and a consumer aware of his rights. Wake up.

    Medical litigation is going to be a very big money earner for lawyers, there is no escaping that anymore. It is upto the medical profession to update their practices and sharpen up.

  11. harkol Says:

    The folks who oppose Amir & what the show said have to figure the following:

    1. Is it better to hide the medical malpractices, bad unethical & rampant illegalities happening in the health care system, or is it better to lay it out in the open, even if majority of doctors are honorable?

    2. Shouldn’t the complain be about the lack of good quality generics, instead of slamming Amir for saying ‘generics can be a solution’??

    3. Would you accept a lawyer who has conflict of interest ? i.e. a lawyer who represents your interests, but is also on pay roll of the other party (equivalent of Drug company)? Won’t you want your lawyer to get the best deal possible for you, rather than best deal possible for himself?

    4. Would it be OK with you if the police never caught and judiciary never jailed folks who cheat, steal or cause physical harm to you? If that isn’t OK, how do you justify MCI not cancelling the license of a single doctor? Do we have Rama Rajya here, that not even a single doctor did anything wrong? And why shouldn’t Amir point that out?

    5. Would you stay silent if you feel, say, a jeweler cheated you in the quality of gold? Or would you shout it out to as many people as possible to warn them? Should all jewelers Gang up against you saying you are talking ill of our profession, by making public such cheating?

    6. Have you honestly never come across an dishonest Doctor, Farmacy, Hospital, Lab? If so, do let me know exactly which heaven were you living in past decade or so?

  12. Peace Says:

    Mr. Nayeem, sad to see this defensive guilt complex ridden piece from you. The fact of the matter is that the commercialization and the naked money-grab have left the ‘Vaidyo Narayana Hari’ qualities long behind and what we see as sarve samanyas is ‘Dudde Dodappa’ mentality doctors. They are dime a dozen. Costly medicines, unnecessary scans and procedures are routinely misused.

    Harkol above ,makes a compelling case and has outlined what should be the points we should focus on. I think if we as a society stop taking offences where one ought to not be taken but see the underlying rut than justifying the rot with ” ..it is better than couch-casting in movies, we will never get better…”

  13. murthy Says:

    Dear Doctor,
    I agree with you about the quality of the Generic Medicines sold, and if it is Generic it is the chemist who decides which company’s medicine is given to the patient (depending on the margin he gets), In India anyone with money can buy a Drug manufacturer license, as they say Authority can always be managed.

  14. Ravi Says:

    Actually I agree with the author: practicing medicine IS an art, not a science. Because the science still does not understand human body all that well. A lot of it is still guess work and one size fits all approach of prescribing medicines certainly is not science.

    I agree that there are many spurious drugs masquerading as generics. Are there any genuine generics at all in India? If not, is it not time that we shutdown all those manufacturers of generics? If there are some generics that are good, why don’t doctors prescribe them instead of branded medicines.

    Author blames the labs for paying the cuts to doctors. Why don’t doctors instead write percentage discounts on the prescriptions themselves so that the patent doesn’t unnecessarily pay 30-40% more money for lab tests? Why don’t they decline to accept any cuts. Is it a stretch to say that getting a cut is a direct conflict of interest? Blaming others and absolving one’s own community is a clear proof that the author is as guilty as Amir says most doctors are.

    A lot of medical practice in India has become like a manufacturing process. My mother had to see a neurologist and he had all of five minutes before prescribing a host of medicines. Are five minutes enough to diagnose the condition and understand anyone’s case? I understand this is not an isolated case. This is standard practice.

    All I can say about this article is instead of coming up with some soul searching necessary in Indian healthcare industry, the author has succeeded in proving Amir’s point.

    -RK

  15. AD Says:

    Just like the previous post, this is completely flawed in its arguments as well. Haven’t read the entire thing, but will comment on what I have read so far:

    1. Apart from the two cases I discussed last week, many have challenged me to disprove him on the other counts where he has revealed many more misdeeds of doctors.

    -> We don’t hv to leave those cases alone. I hv presented a detailed counter-argument to those cases in ur previous as well. So, no need to assume – that you have successfully argued your case there such that nobody can find any loophole.

    2. You say:

    “This is thanks to our government’s policy of allowing anyone with a little money to ‘buy’ a drug manufacturing licence and start making a killing. Beyond this shred of paper that ensures complete legal immunity no other infrastructure whatsoever is necessary to set up a drug manufacturing plant in a tin-roofed shed, located in a seedy bylane and ply this lucrative trade.

    Most such drugs do not have any drug inside. So, what goes into these tablets, capsules or tonics? They contain either plain chalk powder, sawdust or sweetened and coloured water.”

    -> Well sir, in your previous post you have accused Amir of presenting only half truths, while you seem to be doing the same here.

    You very conviniently have failed to mention that although anybody (with a tin-roof can apply) to GET a license, you need to get approved from the Govt. And unless the medecine is 100% effective – no question of it getting an approval. Your argument tht cheaper medecines may hv lower concentration of the salts – is not just misleading but absolutely BULLCRAP.

    3. You also talk about bribes being given to get approvals

    -> Well, simple math & common sense will tell you that – mostly, only the branded ones are the ones who can resort to such a thing.

    A medecine with a 2 rupee margin, and simply by virtue of it not being a brand name (and like u urself said – 100’s of generic alternatives available for each medecine) – it does not even do a lot of volume of sales. So I doubt if bribing officials would be economic a venture for a generic medecine producer.

    But somebody who sells his medecines at 300-800% markup, who also has thousands of corores to pay for marketing (to get the doctors to promote their brands) can definitely resort to such a thing.

    3. Fake medecines

    Again, same logic applies for the fakes as well. Now let us say Nokia sells E71 for Rs.13000. But Micromax (used to sell) a knock-off version for just around 3000/- – now you tell me, which one would get ‘faked’ or ‘copied’? The branded one which sells for 13K or the cheap knockoff?

    Similarly, which medecines are more likely (or rather 100% likely) to get faked – branded ones or the generic ones? Its such a matter of common sense. And if you want to say that – somebody can use fake/cheap ingredients in a generic medecine as well (even though it won’t sell a lot of volume or have much margin) is very unlikely. And tht can happen with ANY MEDECINE. How can you try and imply tht the generic ones are more likely to be fake, while in fact just the exact opposite is true?

    Looks like you are hell bent upon trying to fool the public here.

  16. harkol Says:

    Here is Amir’s answer to those seeking apology:

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/look-within-before-blaming-me-aamir-to-doctors/267728-44-124.html

    And he is right. The folks who are denigrating Medical Profession are those who are indulging in bad practices. Amir was just holding a mirror.

  17. Sapna Says:

    The author seems to think that the case against doctors is formed by the public only after watching Amir’s show. What makes it appeal to the people is that all of them have one or two of their own horror stories to tell regarding the healthcare industry.

    No amount of arguments and counter-arguments can counter people’s experiences.

    And please do not compare medical industry with Bollywood. We trust Doctors with our life and limb. This is much more serious business.

  18. avi Says:

    First things first. A student scoring very very good marks in college will not get a medical seat, because of the reservation system. The student cannot afford to give donation and go for a management quota seat. People scoring very less percentages also get medical seat because of reservations and also because of the money power.
    Now my point is that, every doctor should display a certificate stating that the doctor has got the seat under which quota (merit, reservation or management), which college he did his graduation, what is the overall percentage of marks he has scored by the time he finished the course, how many years did he take to finish the course and what is his total experience. etc

    I think this might help people (patients) chose the right doctor for them.

  19. karthik pandit Says:

    Hello this discussion has taken place in many of the media and websites and many for and against opinions have come and almost all are true to certain extent but not 100 % fact. I would like to make a point here that it is proven and he is again and again confirming the fact that Amir khan is a good sales person and has used various innovative marketing gimmicks in almost all of his recent ventures in pushing his movies ahead. And Mr Khan when you are charging in crores per episode how do you want us to call you a saint or a great social reforemer or messiah of the society ?
    ok… we have to accept that the medical profession has become a trade and every doctor willingly or unwillingly fall in its prey to some extent but some are exception who are extremely corrupt… but that percent is less. When we look at the fabric of the indian medical practice, its unique and different from the rest pf the developed countries. Most of the time we ( doctors) will not get the clarity of the disease and have to rely on exhaustive lab investigation which are expensive and not all reports are oriented at commissions. I can give hundreds of examples of the medical cases admitted at NIMHANS, a premier medical institue, where in they will not be able to pin point on a diagnosis……. Dont you think it a joke and even with confirmed diagnosis, the treatment would not have responded… Here the problem would certainly be not with the doctor or the system or the medical team, but each of us react in an unique way and we have to accept we are not programmed. Also the opinion sought by amir khan is of single sid have and only an expert can opine or confirm the medical negligence.
    And one more thing MR Khan, doctors have to act in fraction of a second in an emergency and we are not given takes and retakes.
    please go through the link to find the other side of Satyameva jayate or marketing meva jayate

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/satyamev-jayate-doctor-hits-out-at-aamir-khan/264652-44.html

  20. murthy Says:

    Sir,

    I dont want to comment about other issues(negligence etc), whether a doctor is bribed or not etc, I have worked in the pharmaceutical Industry and having seen closely how medicines are sold, a company need not always resort to bribing the doctor, especially the ones selling generics, it is the chemist who decides which company’s medicine is given to the patient (Pharma companies have special schemes eg 10+3 offer, 3 sales packs free for every 10 packs of medicine the chemist buys) and it is not always a cash rich company which resort to these sort of tactics, I know of a company which bears the name of an European country (nothing to do with that country though) which sells protein supplements and i have talked to people from that company who candidly admit that it has no nutritional value, they are able to sell their product because of the margins and offers they give to the chemists.
    What is am trying to say is the doctor is not entirely off the mark when he talks about cheap drugs, and what make you think that the Drugs control authorities are above board when they grant licenses?

  21. srinivas Nagarad (kannadiga) Says:

    I agree with the article. In the meantime i recommend a better lifestyle to avoid the doctors and medicines as much as possible. Everytime i had throat infection i used get the Antibiotic (250mg to 500mg- 1 course of 6 or 3 tablets) . It was such a pain .Now i have started using brook bond redlabel Natural care black tea 2 times a day . It is a good remedy for sardi/khokla and throat infection. In extreme cases doctor is just around the corner. Also if we can avoid all sorts of junk food we eat, if we can depend on age old diet our dadiamma used to make for all of us , if we can keep ourselves stressfree, TV free and take good rest , jog a few kilometers , cycle everyday, little yoga, pranayama , eating fruits on empty stomach instead of with food and after food, drinking water properly, spending quality time with family and relatives and friends , doing your favourite hobby(painting, listening to music, dance etc), it will do a lot of good to people.
    In the meantime, this article can be real eye opener to most of us who believe in everything our stars endorse! We have to probe beyond “Satyameva jayate”..srinivas

  22. Sunitha Sundararam Says:

    It has been universally acknowledged that Medical Science is the most respected and sought after profession. However, its wrong to claim any profession is flawless. One of the comments above says” There are exceptions but the percent is less”. Excuse me! So what if the percent is less? In this case the ‘exception’ could cost somebody’s life! Medicine is such a field where a flaw is unacceptable, more so if it is done intentionally – And this is what Aamir Khan has tried to bring forth. Instead of realizing the gravity of the situation, doctors in the country are taking this issue personally and getting offended by it. For an individual/profession/society at large to grow, it is important to understand and accept one’s flaws and overcome it, instead of playing the blame game and pushing aside facts.

  23. harkol Says:

    Srinivas Nagarad:

    Lets consider if natural food, hardwork put in by our ancestors and their life expectancy… Life expectancy just a generation back was 10 years lesser than now. Couple of generations back folks were considered really old after 60, but now 60 is when a lot of folks enjoy tension free life.

    Most of it is due to medical interventions. Diabetes, Heart conditions and so many other hereditary conditions are treated to enhance life expectancy by couple of decades. The death during child birth has become an exception. Child mortality has gone down to a great extent.

    So, let us not under estimate the need and importance of modern medicine. It is an essential part of modern living. And we need medical services that are ethical, and affordable.

    It is not too much to ask – Check how Cuba fares in medical services vis-a-vis India.

  24. Commoner Says:

    The author does not understand the purpose of the show. The purpose of the show is to bring issues that are harming people into the spotlight.
    I agree if there was a liaison between the underworld and the film industry it must be discussed, but not in this show. Film industry contacts do not harm the layman on a daily basis.
    Perhaps the noble doctor has not heard of false life threatening diagnosis and treatment that doctors are providing in order to make money.
    On the other hand, doctor, if you and all doctors are so noble, please disprove all allegations made on the show by doing research and gaining information, before writing long unwanted letters to a person who genuinely thinks for society.

  25. Amit Sharma Says:

    “What kind of changes the film star wants to bring in our society, his act would destroy the entire social structure of out villages that were living in brotherhood for decades.”

  26. uttam sanghvi Says:

    As in all fields,all kinds of people exist,we Have to be carefull in choosing our doctors….to be honest…i Have come across many honest ,efficient,ethical doctors, But unfortunately people prefer doctors who has long queues outside his clinic…But not go to doctors ,who are great.

  27. Sanket Says:

    @deepak and santosh
    im quoting a line from harrison’s principles of internal medicine widely considerd as bible of medicine.

    ”this combination of medical knowledge, intuition, experience and judgement defines the art of medicine which is necessary for the practice of medicine as is sound scientific base”

    so medicine is more of an art than science is not an overstatement.

  28. menotkhan Says:

    Amir Khan’s show dissected by Anand S and Mediacrooks (separately)

    http://drsylviakarpagam.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/silence-eva-jayate/

    http://www.mediacrooks.com/2012/07/satyameva-jayate-shock-aww-applause.html

    Interesting reads!

  29. rkramadh Says:

    It is quite naive on Dr. Nayeem to think that only brand name drugs work. Yes it’s quite likely that the generic drugs do not always contain the active ingredient required to cure someone but that does not mean that generic drugs should not be sold. The solution is for the Indian govt to put checks/balances and tracking system when it comes to generic drugs. I live in the US and there are plenty of generic drugs that do exactly the same thing as the brand names. But the doctors that get fancy gifts and all expense paid vacations prefer to tout the brand name drugs instead of generic drugs. India should take lessons from other countries like US in controlling generic drugs and make it available to the larger public that can’t afford brand name drugs. It serves no one but the greedy pharmaceutical companies and the doctors to completely ban generic drugs. The problem is the corrupt govt, not Amir Khan who has obviously seen how generics save money and lives in other countries and wants the same for poor Indians.

  30. B.P.Kumar Says:

    Dr are big looters no doubt What ever Amer khan did is the only way to awake people and make them to question to this white color Criminal dr’s , You know some thing Dr is the only one Who robs the pocket of innocent deceased common man on installment basics because he never question and he believes him, Do not believe Young drs 35 to 40 age , you had to cross check with old age drs 55 > those who are loyal towards their medical ethics .

  31. yoyo Says:

    lol the only thing you’ll probably end up with is no doctor opting for surgery because of more risk….die idiots
    What the fuc so u can’t ducking point at the politicians who loot us kill innocent people….or advocates who gave probably spoiled lives of many innocent people by executing them for crimes they didn’t do?don’t they charge a hell lot of money….hello mister Amir khan whats your qualification? The only thing you know is acting…..do you even know what books we study???? Lol you would probably not know what
    atherosclerosis is
    Like you people are not even graduates and you comment on us??
    What facilities are the Indian government providing us with?? They make 10000 doctors comp,ete for 100 seats lolllll
    You are always one sided….I saw this episode of yours where you were pointing out at farmers on adding pesticides…and that we should buy groceries from supermarkets……aapka imaan gavahi kaise diya??….how can you say that ever?? Do.you know how many farmers commit suicide daily?
    Oooh and yeah cheap medicines….you go buy them use them.and well observe all side effects which occur in you okayyy…let you get photophobia or anaphylactic reactions or allergy or ppsychosis or.parkinsonism.which you probably already have……we normal.people are the reason you are rich….did you observe how horrible dhoom was?….why cant you reduce the ticket.price to 2 rupees??….reduce no….eham kam karo apna….har.insaan ek jaisa nahi hota….
    Hum zindagi lagadete hain un ki jaan bachane.me who would probably drag us to court….lol kyu?? You’ll suffer when.doctors reject your case just coz it’s a bit complicated…..
    AAP is duniya ka kya bhala kar rahe ho? Jaan bachakar dikhao kisiki…
    Did you go.observe the condition of govt.hospitals?? Why.isn’t the government maintaining them??

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