“The Healer Bleeds”
A starry eyed 17 year old is preparing very hard for NEET UG Medical Entrance.He is a very studious, intelligent, disclipined, hardworking child who has always been among the toppers in his class.He wants to crack the NEET UG and secure a seat in a medical college.He can easily get into any other stream but he aspires to be a doctor.His middle class parents are proud of him, they work hard so that their child gets all the material to prepare for this prestigious exam.They dream of the day when their son will have a Dr before his name
The world is reeling under the pandemic of Covid- 19.India is under lockdown, cases are increasing, exams are postponed.This 17 year old is filled with shock and terror when he witnesses how doctors are treated in our country.
Doctors dont have PPE but are forced to work in Covid wards.They are threatened with dire consequences if they raise their voice.Junior doctors are given inhuman duty hours but denied their meagre stipends.
On one hand, the goverment showers petals on doctors but on the other it cancels even the mandatory quarantine for them.Now doctors on Covid duty have to go back home and live in the constant fear of infecting their loved ones.
The goverment declares that PPEs are now adequate but most doctors are still not getting them.The ones they get are of such shabby quality that residents/ interns by the dozen start testing positive.But these doctors instead of being given proper care are questioned as to how they got infected when they were given PPE.
Interns/ postgraduate residents are given forced extensions of their term.Second and third year MBBS students, untrained as they might be, are instructed to join Covid duty.Private practitioners are threatened with discontinuation of their license if they refuse to join forced Covid duty.
The 17 year-old is watching all this.He is now petrified.
July- August 2020: The NEET UG Medical exams are held but this 17 year old does not appear for it.He has given up his long- cherished dream of becoming a doctor and decided to opt for some other branch.His parents support him.They want their child to lead a healthy and normal life, even if he does not become a doctor.
Year 2025: Medicine is the least sought after branch for a good student after the 12th.It has become the branch students take when left with no other choice
Year 2040: A loved one is sick but everyone knows that going to the hospital is risky.Doctors nowadays have such poor skills and knowledge that treatment often kills faster than the disease. People watch their loved ones succumbing to illness with no or incorrect treatment.
Scary? It should be
Let us be prepared for this as a society.The healer bleeds today and the society will bleed in the days to come!!!