THE ‘AYUSH’ APPROACH TO INDIANS’ HEALTH! Part III

Kuttanlifeissues

THE ‘AYUSH’ APPROACH TO HUMAN HEALTH: PART             III Introduction: My gut feeling all these years, ever since Govt. of India opened the Ayush Ministry—AYUSH stands for Allopathy, Unani…

Source: THEAYUIISH APPROACH TO INDIANS’ HEALTH! Part III

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THE ‘AYUSH’ APPROACH TO INDIANS’ HEALTH! Part III

THE ‘AYUSH’ APPROACH TO HUMAN HEALTH: PART             III

Introduction:

My gut feeling all these years, ever since Govt. of India opened the Ayush Ministry—AYUSH stands for Allopathy, Unani, Siddha, Ayurveda and Homeopathy—has been the remarkable concept at its bottom: EVERY human being that is ill cares more for his or her own recovery than for the specific system or convention through which he wishes to get cured. “Health is Wealth” goes the popular saying- and in this country many millions have only their health to lay claim for by way of wealth!

Whatever the medicinal system that YOU represent, you tend to make mistakes when you deal with that most complicated long evolved machine-the human body. If then a modern medicine physician claims his own system to be more “scientific” because it’s based “entirely on research findings” it can’t be inferred outright that he won’t err in his own diagnosis. Similarly with alternate systems of medicine too, though, as far as the individual patient is concerned, his preoccupation is ONLY to be totally cured.

These alternate systems adopt varied approaches. Herbal medicine of Indian origin-Ayurveda helps when modern medicine is forced to make a retreat. Siddha helps when Ayurveda takes too long a duration. And so on. What is paramount is to cultivate a holistic mindset towards these.

The Role of Food and Fitness programs:  

A judicious blend of both the right food and the right quantum of physical exercise can immunize a people by and large against most common ailments. Unless you would like to know the detailed modalities of such a transformative program, I would like to leave this to your imagination at the moment and pass on.

Most NCDs can be simply PREVENTED!

In my eye we have hundreds of hospitals here –most catering only to the well-heeled sadly enough–but no socio medical mechanism in every ward and district to deal effectively with persons that have contracted NCDs, or who have given up all hope of survival because they are 70+ in age.

This prophylactic mechanism may be programmed to provide the necessary counselling and motivation to live on in spite of personal discomfort and also dispense medicines to the mild neurotics whenever need.

Once, for instance, a disease like dengue fever breaks as out as it did recently in the national capital, the mechanism set up in a township has its course of action all clear before it—i.e.to swing into immediate action with teams of physicians paying door to door visits in each ward and every district and enlightening the people against adopting unintelligent and insensible treatment options.

For instance, why can’t the health authorities launch a metro wide Awareness Generation Drive if only to minimize the occurrence of dengue among the metro residents and floating population with a series of urgent steps—like the following? [List of instructions incomplete!]

  • All those up to the 8th floor in apartment complexes must be on guard since the dengue mosquitos are proven to fly to that level.
  • Mosquito elimination at family-level is the ONLY time tested option for preventing this illness.
  • Please avoid self-medication with available /cheap cure options like left over antibiotics
  • Seek the help of hospital staff if you contract acute fever of a serious kind; it may be dengue. If needed get your blood checked at a good lab for IGM antibody.
  • Be aware of the numerous side effects of this fever like internal hemorrhage, platelet count drop, inflammation of the perineum and pericardium etc.
  • Please ensure that you get at least 8 hours od sound sleep every night.

Please know that no such step was taken at all even in New Delhi. In other words the residents of the capital metro were left to fend entirely for themselves and suffer the consequences!

Neither has this country ever thought of setting up such a mechanism in every district but also refused to learn from the many minor tragedies that occur in stray pockets of the country this far.

Did Surat learn from its bubonic plague epidemic? No! Hass the national capital learned to PREVENT dengue in the first place by getting the real villains where dengue mosquitos breed– air cooler tanks—re-designed through stirring up enough pressure on the cooler makers? Not yet!

Yes, even the thought of bettering citizen life with a prevention-oriented approach –say by ensuring that all people living in areas of contaminated water get immunized against Hepatitis A—has not been viewed seriously by any Ministry this far—with the result that many billions from the national exchequer have got spent for health services upkeep and also an equal amount of hard earned savings of the people have gone for treatment AFTER they get some illness.

Doctor kids Hippocrates would disclaim! :

I sincerely admit and acknowledge that some physicians and surgeons are veritable angels in the flesh but I contend that ALL physicians are always under intense pressure not only from drug firm representatives to prescribe specific formulations but also from peers and superiors to “conform” to the ways of the majority.

Many super qualified physicians have goofed at least in pinpointing and correctly diagnosing my own health status at different times, and I don’t blame them; the sheer complexity of the body—not my own but yours also- can flabbergast even the best among them unless you and I go out of our ways to help them. In most ways a doctor legend can result only from a combination of circumstances: educated parents, work culture at home, unstinting parental support for higher education and temporary relocation, personality traits like perseverance, good colleagues, and noble teachers and so on!

I single out ONLY those black sheep from among them that follow a most atrocious economics in the treatment approach they adopt towards individual patients coming up with all kinds of complaints.

An Allopathic Unwillingness:

Look at how easily Red China has succeeded in integrating allopathy with yoga to bring down the incidence of depression, suicidal thoughts and high stress observed in her people.

Taking the help of Yogi-Yoga Institute in Beijing, run by an Indian Chinese couple, the government has decided to put allopathic physicians in charge of such programs in 100 of her universities forthwith within 100 days so that the patients shall get the additional benefit of personal consultation and counseling too at no extra cost!

Since it’s my wife’s habit to listen to medical programs on the idiot box on all days I also give her company at times unless I am outdoors and this utterance is what I always hear from the so called experts of modern medicine,” Sir, I don’t know much about the Ayurveda or Unani medicines that you have ingested so far and I can’t rely on their efficacy sorry.  I can represent only my own system-modern medicine!”

Those practitioners of alternate medical systems are not this blunt but they also say they can prescribe only X or Y to the patient for getting cured.

What I can’t make out here is the reason for this mutual animus between and among the systems!

Why can’t they hold a general meeting and come to an understanding that all of them shall work shoulder to shoulder for SAVING the patient whoever it may be?

The Disclaimer Statement:

Haven’t seen the Disclaimer Statement that you are asked to sign away before your dear one gets operated upon? Actually once you insert your signature on that piece of paper, the hospital feels happy to think that you can’t file a case against it for compensation for wrong surgical procedure or an operation gone messy!

At least hospital managements used to think so.

But no longer!

India’s health scenario has become more rigorous with many new laws and regulations today, in a sedulous aping exercise after what is common knowledge in the West. Consumer Redress Forums have come to stay and huge sums are being claimed by erstwhile patients from physicians if they have understood that the latter have erred in diagnosis or treatment procedure.

Cases are also being filed all the time; all this tend to make the typical physician not a little edgy and frightened inside and he tends to order a battery of tests if only to eliminate possible wrong options.

What Ails medical education?

This needs a detailed investigation and I can perceive that many sins of omission and commission have been committed in this area.

I shall, with your gracious permission, take this up in my next blog.

Summing up:

Much is wanting in the health sector of India since any let-up in the quality of health services available directly impacts the life of the population in an adverse manner. Like in many other cases—stray dog menace, thalaikoothal, dowry deaths, flow of counterfeit money, gender discrimination, euthanasia ban etc.—what is negative—including all that leprous and sclerotic in the health sector– is often left to the people themselves to deal with as well as they can.

THIS CAN’T BE ENDURED ANY LONGER!

YOU AND I HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO LIVE AND DIE IN PEACE!

 

RE-ASSESSING THE HEALER COMMUNITY! Part II

Kuttanlifeissues

RE-CALIBRATING YOUR “DOCTOR” IMAGE!

INTRODUCTION:

Post-truth observation of doctors in general shall convince you or me within hours how tunneled their vision happens to be, how greedy and how unwilling to un-learn and re-learn of newer developments.

My brother in another mother-G.S. Chandran writes on this topic as follows:

“Consider how black money adversely affected quality of medical students, creation of more undisclosed wealth in hands of management, interference of judiciary in steps taken to improve quality, corruption in setting up new colleges government-funded but without proper faculty and infrastructure etc.”

Yes, the health scenario all over the nation is less than something worth writing home about.

That remarkable book by the neurologist Oliver Sacks-“Adventures in human being”—draws a comparison between car repairmen and doctors, in that neither inquires about HOW the problem started but only explains how the symptoms can be mitigated with medicines or sweat sessions or surgical…

View original post 1,814 more words

RE-ASSESSING THE HEALER COMMUNITY! Part II

RE-CALIBRATING YOUR “DOCTOR” IMAGE!

INTRODUCTION:

Post-truth observation of doctors in general shall convince you or me within hours how tunneled their vision happens to be, how greedy and how unwilling to un-learn and re-learn of newer developments.

My brother in another mother-G.S. Chandran writes on this topic as follows:

“Consider how black money adversely affected quality of medical students, creation of more undisclosed wealth in hands of management, interference of judiciary in steps taken to improve quality, corruption in setting up new colleges government-funded but without proper faculty and infrastructure etc.”

Yes, the health scenario all over the nation is less than something worth writing home about.

That remarkable book by the neurologist Oliver Sacks-“Adventures in human being”—draws a comparison between car repairmen and doctors, in that neither inquires about HOW the problem started but only explains how the symptoms can be mitigated with medicines or sweat sessions or surgical procedures!

And medical courses in particular saturate the learner with so many names of illnesses and their symptoms that post-MBBS the graduate, though in real life– perks up his ears the moment someone hints about a disease.

THE HIPPOCRATIC VISION OF THE HEALING COMMUNITY

There was but one Hippocrates and he died long ago.

The Hippocratic Oath, which all medical graduates pledge to abide by in the course of their lives before they are awarded their basic degree goes as follows:

    I swear by Apollo The Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the Gods and Goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.

    To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath, but to nobody else.

    I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.

Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.

But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.

    Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free.

And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.

    Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I transgress it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.

     I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

 

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

 

    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of over-treatment and therapeutic nihilism.

 

    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

 

    I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

 

    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.

Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

 

    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

 

    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

 

    I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

 

[Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.]

Which medical graduate today—ambitious to a fault and eaten up with greed– seeks to live by his counsel?

None! Nor can a doctor go by its spirit in a scenario of lethal injection, abortion or euthanasia too!

Unlike all other professions, the healing profession compulsorily demands and insists on remaining updated at all times since the task the lay doctor is under pressure to do justice to –pinpointing a specific illness in a 33-million-years-long evolved living human body from a host of often tricky external symptoms –is a challenging formidable one indeed.

Thus it is barred for those that wish to get away with shoddiness or those who make a fast buck.

IS THE MEDICAL PROFESSION A KEY TO QUICK WEALTH?

However , sadly enough , the desire to enter into the medical profession by hook or by crook as a short cut to wealth primarily gained hot demand since mere graduation guarantees a lifelong source of income in countries like India!

[Post-NEET(an entrance test ), almost all that opted for the medical program combo of subjects(Physics, Chemistry and Biology) seek to get into the  nearest medical college, and for arguments sake let us conceded also that they finish the MBBS program within 5 or 6 years.

But what kind of physicians or surgeons are they? How much professional ethics has been inculcated to them at the graduate college? What is their rating on personal and professional resilience and genuine passion for what they do? Do they possess enough fire in the belly to be true guardian angels to hundreds of men and women?

NO ONE in India asks any doctor any such question at all!]

Far from the demographic dividend it was believed to reward India with, it has spawned a host of unforeseen challenges and problems—doctors that lack professional commitment of any kind, out –and out Shylockian persons, referral specialists, nincompoops that can’t even perform a surgical operation to perfection, pseudo professionals that have hidden agreements and tie ups with local laboratories and scanning centers, and also those that hate alternative medical systems.

Thus the population of ‘doctors’—those that armed themselves with medical degrees and then chose to pickpocket the public –has been proliferating over the years with no MCI being able to stem the tide of ditchwater.

RETROACTIVE APPROACH TO HEALTH?

The Directive Principles of State policy enshrined in Article 47 Part IV of the Constitution states it as “…the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health” ‘

Living up to this principle has been met with consensus among our political outfits but successive ministries in this nation have consistently looked the other way.

One reason for this indifference has been a severe shortage of hospitals and health care professionals.80% of all doctors and 70% of dispensaries serve only 28% of the population. Supply-side inefficiencies are thus gross but ministries have focused on demand side issues ONLY.

Another reason has been the indifference of the budget makers to allocate enough funds.17% of the global populat6ion live here but only <1% of the world’s expenditure goes into addressing this population’s health. State-wise allocation is also dishonest and prejudiced.

TODAY’S DOCTOR:

The physician image in the public psyche has also taken a severe denting.

Doctors have taken to collective bargaining through union formation (IMA is nothing but a trade union of the genteel kind), gone on labor strikes, declined to perform urgent lifesaving surgeries, availed themselves of mass casual leave in protest, and ignored patients that can’t cough up amounts for surgeries posted for the next day and even messed up treatment modalities on purpose after colluding with private hospital managements.

The generally accepted social image of the physician—secular, liberal, easy going, updated, etc.—is not always true to facts. You and I know only too well WHY a person accosts a doctor– to get some degree of mental and emotional peace– but whether he or she actually lives in peace ONCE  diagnosis is made, one is asked to undergo a series of tests  and treatment is begun by a doctor– is a  moot question!

You and I tend to –and have been conditioned over the years to- view the typical apothecary or doctor as a paid professional that has the skills to treat us once we have the symptoms of any illness –and NOT as a person that can help us maintain our robust physical health without ever having to intervene in our health condition.

Remember that less than 10% of these freshmen have both the aptitude and the attitude to do justice to the medical profession; the rest are there merely because of parental pressure, surplus money hibernating at home, wealthy kith and kin and even a desire to show off.

PROPHYLAXIS OF ILL-HEALTH? NEVER!

Ironically enough, there is much wisdom encapsulated within that proverbial saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”; of course an apple here represents the intake of fruits and vegetables.

Food, it has been globally acknowledged is certainly your first line of defense against ill health of all kinds. Ignore what you take in and all the rest—pills, capsules minor surgeries major surgeries and even organ transplantation- are purely secondary in significance! Name any illness and you do research on the wisest treatment modalities and you are told by medical findings that the key to retrieval of health consists in the food intake modification—strict abstinence from many popular food items and cultivation of new food intake habits.

All wellness specialists and nutritionists, and even hospital-based dieticians are well aware of this great truth. It’s only that they are not at liberty to SAY so in the open!

In this country hospital dieticians are a depressed, demoralized severely under-remunerated lot, shelved as they have been into a corner cubicle to work from, and the monopoly of the physician community silences them from speaking out this great truth! Most MBBS men and women take it for granted that they know much more about nutrition than those that have conducted specialized study and research at post-graduation level in the subject specialty—actually a branch of Internal Medicine in healing centers abroad!

This has done not a little harm to the patients as a whole!

(To be continued)

DOCTORS, ‘DOCTORS’ AND QUACKS IN INDIA!

Kuttanlifeissues

DOCTORS, ‘DOCTORS’ AND QUACKS IN INDIA!

Introduction:

Across India you chance upon three distinct kinds of persons- all claiming to be doctors of medicine, apart from PhD degree holders in academia.

The first –not higher than 10% at most in India–are few and far between; they love their specialty almost fanatically, and passionately, take pride in keeping themselves most updated, and significantly enough display an amnesia of nonspecific etiology in the matter of asking for consultation fee too. Most such fall in the category of super specialists; they are easily accessible in their spare time and would thank you for your suggestions and tips too.

These gems are genuine McCoy-the real Hippocrates disciples with Hermes’ caduceus and flying wings. Personal comfort is purely secondary to them. Many can be found rendering FREE medical consultancy services even after they retire, to the poor among us.

The second category—about 40% or more–…

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DOCTORS, ‘DOCTORS’ AND QUACKS IN INDIA!

DOCTORS, ‘DOCTORS’ AND QUACKS IN INDIA!

Introduction:

Across India you chance upon three distinct kinds of persons- all claiming to be doctors of medicine, apart from PhD degree holders in academia.

The first –not higher than 10% at most in India–are few and far between; they love their specialty almost fanatically, and passionately, take pride in keeping themselves most updated, and significantly enough display an amnesia of nonspecific etiology in the matter of asking for consultation fee too. Most such fall in the category of super specialists; they are easily accessible in their spare time and would thank you for your suggestions and tips too.

These gems are genuine McCoy-the real Hippocrates disciples with Hermes’ caduceus and flying wings. Personal comfort is purely secondary to them. Many can be found rendering FREE medical consultancy services even after they retire, to the poor among us.

The second category—about 40% or more–, rather easily recognizable owing to the gaudiness they consciously display in lifestyle once they acquire some basic degree, whether it be MBBS or MD, give higher priority to luxury and personal coziness than to treating an accident victim in the middle of the night or for braving the monsoon thundershowers to reach the hospital where they work to save a dying one. Of course, they put on airs that they know everything about their subject and delight in flying personal kites of a kind if you ask them for an opinion on say your minor psoriasis on the heel.

These are the ‘doctors’ among us. They run hospitals, swim in money, underpay the para medical technicians and nurses, and boast of their humble origins later on in life. They care more for the depth of your pocket than for the health of your heart!

The third category –again about 40% in India–consists of persons that had served at some clinic or hospital or worked with a qualified doctor for a while. They may be ill-educated themselves but have sound worldly wisdom and using this they pass of as real physicians and surgeons in some remote township and treat many persons accosting them with a brazenness that will shock you!

We call them quacks!

And the final 10% comprise just qualified young men and women pursuing their house residency (or house surgeon training as it is called in India)—and these youngsters think that they are experts.

You and I are at the mercy of anyone from any of these four categories and our life may get salvaged or spoilt depending on their mood at the time of our meeting those, mindsets, level of greed, and personal commitment or otherwise.

Myths vs. Realities

It’s true that a significant percentage of our medical graduates contrive to pass tests like ECFMG or FLEX and fly away but those that remain have passed out from either of two kinds of academic campuses—government funded colleges-cum–hospitals or medical colleges set up adjacent to district hospitals and run by private managements often innocuously called “trusts” with some monk as Patron or Sponsor.

It’s a myth to say that those that graduate in medicine and surgery from the latter are below par in any manner though they have coughed up higher amounts as annual tuition and development fees. It’s also a mythical notion to believe that ONLY government-funded medical colleges can have all the necessary equipment and infrastructure. Public medical colleges, unlike their private counterparts, are often bedeviled by student unrest and teacher strikes, which adversely affects the eventual quality quotient of the graduates to some extent. The scenario and the actual facilities available varies from one medical institution to another institution!

Areas of concern in this realm—those that are relevant in the case of human patients later on– are

  • Lack of clinical experience and restriction on practicing at govt. hospitals nearby.
  • Poor infrastructure of training institution and shortfall in faculty
  • Lenient evaluation process since the learners pay thru their nose
  • Co habitation with super wealthy persons within the management quota
  • Minimal opportunities for hands-on surgery on cadavers for orthopedics, gynecology, obstetrics, and gastro specialty.

DHS Doctors vs. Doctors in private hospitals

Good physicians and surgeons can be located at both kinds of healing centers but then the DHS doctors—DHS stands for Directorate of Health Services—are constrained to work for longer hours often thanklessly on a fixed pay dependent on seniority in experience for any promotional chances while their counterparts serving in private hospitals are certainly paid far more if asked to work also on holidays. Nay, the latter usually have available more refined equipment to work with too.

I have often spoken in these blogs about how State Governments in India can bring down huge expenses in rendering health services if they are willing to adopt a prophylactic approach to health. A lot of taxpayer money goes down the drain in the matter of running hospitals. Across Kerala my home State all PHCs—Public Health Centers in villages and small townships—are being upgraded but its cant be denied that governments by necessity work on a shoestring budget almost all the time.

Naturally the amounts that you part with shall be on the affordable side but then you can expect shortage of doctors or nurses and technicians at such places. Even today about 60% or more Indians go to the nearest government run hospitals for this reason. If they are lucky they shall get expert care and attention from a highly qualified physician or surgeon—someone superior to even his counterparts at any regional hospitals– but this can’t be guaranteed. A considerable percentage of physicians and surgeons are dispirited and dissatisfied with their realization that the system has been programmed to be cruel to their career growth prospects!

But the people of each State have to be taken into the fold before any such is initiative gets launched because you and I are psychologically conditioned to approaching a doctor only after we contract an illness and not even think of preventing the disease with a few judicious health retention steps.

We unwittingly and almost by reflex associate ill health with hospital access!

CHANGE YOUR BASIC MINDSET ABOUT DISEASE AND YOU CAN SAVE A LOT OF MONEY BY MODIFYING YOUR LIFE THRU SENSIBLE INCLUSIONS AND OMISSIONS!

(To be continued)

 

 

YES!YOU CAN BE AN HOURGLASS FIGURE STILL!

Kuttanlifeissues

YOU CAN BE AN HOURGLASS BEAUTY, STILL!

The Weight Loss Tamasha:

One of the manifold circus clown experiences in our routine life in India especially is the sight of advertisements promising to sculpt both lath like women as well as blubbery ones into cine star like persons in no time at all thru some multi prong “regimented” program.

I call it a “Tamasha” using the Hindi expression for “farce”!

Print media especially is brimming over with advertisements about the many weight loss programs available in India, mostly at a stiff tariff, and thousands of young women ensure they make use of such services too, trusting their own bodies to so called experts.

Those women with a lot of ‘black’ or unaccounted money in their wallets and wishing to launder them by responding to such advertisements are not under my scanner at the moment, but those genuine ones genuinely wishing to…

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