Deteriorating relationship between the medical community and the public

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To the Honorable Chief Minister,
Government of Manipur,
MR. NONGTHOMBAM BIREN

Dear Mr. Chief Minister,

After a thorough and passionate discussion with many experienced and thoughtful doctors, we find that most of the complaints from the medical fraternity stem from the fact that they are not given sufficient resources: human resources as well as machineries at their work places sufficient enough to cater to the needs of the ever growing demands of the public. I learned that the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and the administrative section of the medical community are leading to a corrupt system where the best of human resources and the machineries are not provided at the right time and at the right location. Due to this, the doctors and their support staffs at their workplaces are not able to satisfy the needs of the patient communities, which is leading to the deteriorating relationship between the medical community and the public.

A woman died in Bishnupur district hospital and a mob violence ensued. The reason given out was that the patient party brought the required medicines 15 minutes after they were asked to bring. Why? Because there were no “emergency IV drips, cannula, and medications available in the casualty.” Next after getting the medicines, there were no ECG or ICU facility available in the hospital? Due to this systemic failure, we are all led to fight among ourselves. How fair is the system? And how fair it is to the victim and her family? How many more families need to suffer like this? It’s hard to believe that our medical institutions and hospitals with hundreds of crores of budget are still not able to treat many health problems and shamefully the doctors have to refer the patients to private clinics and hospitals. The system is deliberately kept disabled so that only the top layers of the society benefits and many generation of doctors or nurses are left to defend for themselves. This is not fair. The worst part is this is only going to get more serious. The trust deficit has grown so large that a proper debate and resolution committee is the need of the hour. Therefore, I request your intervention to resolve this problem at the earliest. To resolve this problem, we need to empathetically look at the available data first:

(1) What’s the yearly budget of medical expenses for Manipur?
(2) What’s the budget for JNIMS and other major district hospitals?
(3) If they are more than that of private hospitals like Shija, why are we not able to bring the standard up to their level?
(4) Why do doctors in government medical centres keep referring out patients by quoting lack of machineries and facilities to private hospitals? Isn’t this shameful?
(5) Isn’t red-tapeism and corrupt practice of the health department destroying the moral fabric of the community? Yes, it is, and we are all hoping that you will take corrective measures.
(6) Show us all the expenses of the health departments at each hospitals and clinic levels. Let’s examine if lack of funding is the root cause of the unavailability of the resources.
(7) Please make it mandatory for all medical hospitals at all levels what kind of service they can offer ON THE DAY. How many times do the patient have to walk in to find the doctor is not on duty or to be told some machineries is not working or the ambulance driver is missing in action or no gas to run the ambulance? These are the realities. These are the problems the public are concerned about and are leading them to think the medical fraternity is not caring enough. To solve these problems, there should be some transparency.
(8) Lack of transparency and corruption is at the root cause of all this madness and I seek your immediate intervention to stop it before it becomes incurable.
(9) Complicity between doctors and pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the general public should be stopped immediately
(10) Doctors on Government payroll breaking their legal and moral obligations, those who still take benefit of “Non-practicing allowances” and cheat on the side should be immediately booked. The Medical Fraternity can pass a collective strict resolution to bar any such corrupt doctors from practicing medicine immediately.

I’d like to know your action plan on these:

(1) Will you arrest all those who were involved in vandalizing public property?
(2) Will you terminate the service of all those who were responsible for not putting ECG, medicines or resources that were needed to save the precious life of a woman? Expedite the enquiry, and punish those responsible.
(3) Will you make it mandatory for all health centers to report their inventory requirements on a daily basis to know what needs to be done before another patient dies who could have been saved?

Eagerly waiting for your actions.

With sincere regards,

Erendro Leichombam
Convenor, PRJA

*SHARED WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC*

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