Repurposing Doctor’s Day

Naturopathy By Director NIN


Doctor’s Day was established by the Government of India in 1991 to be recognised and celebrated every year on July 1st of every year in India.July 1st  happens to be the birth and death anniversary of the most famous physician of India - Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, popularly known as Dr B C Roy. It is hence a tribute to his contributions to the health domain in the country. Doctor’s Day is observed on different dates across the world. In the United States, the day is observed on March 30, in Cuba on December 3 and in Iran on August 23.

It's time to celebrate the real hero doctors out there who are fighting the long war against the coronavirus at the cost of their own. It’s a known fact that many doctors have lost their lives and the society at large, as well as their families, have lost a great deal in their loss. 

The adage that: ‘The presence of the doctor is the beginning of the cure’ no longer seem to be true for various reasons. The doctors’ profession has undergone many changes over the decades. Most of the government hospitals are overburdened with work, lack of manpower, resources, poor hygiene and many other compounding factors that make one opt for private facilities which are intrinsically established as an enterprise, and thus are profit oriented. But, on the other hand, we are conditioned to view doctors as selfless, sacrificing, always cheerful, saintly, so to say God like creatures! The reality is something different. They are human beings, like all others, with all follies of all their fellow citizens. Since doctors deal with sick, diseased and suffering people the range of expectations vary, from recovery to normalcy. Again, its natural to see cases going from bad to worse even if every thing possible is offered, or it may happen to due to incompetency, or insufficient facilities, or due to affordability issues of the patients; all these can go against the doctor. On the one hand we are celebrating doctor’s day by honouring them and on the other hand doctors are feeling unsafe and threatened!   

No one can tell what day or hour he or she may be the object of some physical assault, malicious accusation, blackmail or suit for damages. The episodes of assaults on doctors and threats have become so common place that doctors had to unite against this threat. 

While this is the general scenario of doctors versus some negative people, there is growing evidence of instances of doctors indulging in unethical, if not, criminal activities such as kick-backs with laboratories, colluding with pharma companies, wrong procedures, kidney rackets, abortion clinics (female foeticides), unnecessary preions and surgeries. They are made fun of as their conferences are organized by companies and research projects are sponsored by industries with vested interests. The trust between doctors and people is thus eroding, leading to mutual contempt. 

Is there a way out? 

Yes. Strengthen public-health machinery. Bring back the culture of family-doctor. Reduce medicalization of society. More importantly, make individual(s) responsible for their health. Let us all work towards attaining health; the disease is transient and can be taken care of. 

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