Trust is the foundation of a doctor-patient relationship

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

Doctors are here for the larger good of the people and the need of the hour is to restore people’s faith in them

New Delhi, 17 January 2018: A recent survey has indicated that about 92% people do not trust the healthcare system in India. Hospitals appear to be the most distrusted followed by doctors, clinics, diagnostic labs, and others.

The key reasons given for the erosion of trust are a series of failure in the healthcare system, particularly the negligence by hospitals in the recent past. Lack of transparency also came out as the single biggest impediment to the healthcare system in India.

Delivering affordable health care to India’s billion plus people presents enormous challenges and opportunities for the medical fraternity. Political ideologies play a distinctive role in determining the health policies of our country. India made phenomenal economic gains in the last three decades, but has failed to improve the health status of its population on similar terms. This study then paints a very one-sided picture!

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “We are doctors, a fraternity that has been accorded the status of next to God since Vedic times. Medical profession is regarded as a noble profession and no other profession has been given a similar high status. ‘Doctors treat, but God heals’, is a well-known saying. The practice of medicine is becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. We are in pain. The profession is facing its worst period. Justice is being denied to doctors even within the framework of the constitution of India. Violence against doctors is increasing with alarming frequency all over the country; hospitals and medical establishments are ransacked. The risk of physical assault has created an atmosphere of fear among doctors. Doctors are being criminally prosecuted, suffer the indignity and trauma of an unlawful arrest even without being convicted of the negligence by a court of law. Is there a report to highlight the plight of doctors and the percentage of those who feel doctors are being misjudged? It is time to introspect!”

The doctor-patient trust in the country, which was already experiencing a downward spiral, has deteriorated further. Doctors do not have the intent to be the cause for public unrest or loss of public trust. People must also understand that to err is human and one incident does not mean that there will be more such cases in future too.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Vice President, Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, said, “Out of the four purposes of life: dharma, artha, kama and moksha, dharma is the most important. The literal meaning of dharma is to hold. God is the force with 100% dharma in his life. Dharma of a doctor is to treat and save the life of a person at any cost. It is time that the community supports us as we support them. We speak the loudest when we speak with one voice.”

“The medical profession is here to not benefit doctors, who have chosen this difficult route after years of study to give eternal happiness to families. Doctors forget all the hardships they go through when they see smiles come back on the faces of family members when their near and dear ones are healthy again. Our commitment leads us to provide service even when we are indisposed. It will be valid here to say that the medical profession is redundant without patients. Trust is the very foundation of a doctor-patient relationship and must be restored urgently.”