Straight from the heart

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Krishan Kumar in conversation with Dr KK Aggarwal

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI

Krishan Kumar: The earlier medical days of Dr KK Aggarwal.

Dr KK: Krishan, now a days, there is a lot of mistrust between patients and doctors. Was it there in your era also?

Krishan: No, during my PG and early post PG days we had very cordial relationship with our patients. We used to get full respect from the patients and we used to take decisions on their behalf. There was no question of any violence. But why are you asking this question?

Dr KK: Today when we cross the ICU corridors, relatives do not get up. And when we enter the room of the patient, the relatives talk to us sitting on the sofa. We do not get the same respect you are talking about.

Krishan: But during our times most of the hospitals in private were trust non- profit hospitals and not profit making corporate hospitals. That perception that the hospital is not-for-profit was sufficient for the public to trust the hospitals and their billing. Also, in 1995, full one week treatment in ICU for a heart failure patient was Rs 12000/- only.

Dr KK: But why are the patients are violent today? What was in your era that this violence was missing?

Krishan: In our time, there were no mobile smart phones and internet services right at our hands. The patient was dependant on information provided by us. Today your patients are well-informed and want to be a part of treatment unlike our times when we used to take their decisions.

Dr KK: In your time, were the patients a potential litigant?

Krishan: No, we never heard of that. Only occasionally we used to hear about cases going to consumer courts. We used to have a very efficient and good patient and relatives redressal mechanisms.

Dr KK: Who used to refer patients?

Krishan: Mostly family physicians referred the patients. The association was on merit. Once the patient was discharged, they (family physicians) followed up with the patients.

Dr KK: Was there an allegation that doctors used to get referral fee for referring patients?

Krishan: No, the first CT scan in Delhi was put by someone named Dr Gupta, he started the scheme “refer four and get one poor patient free”. There was no concept of referral fee without a service.

Dr KK: Did you ever see dengue patients in that era?

Krishan: Yes, in late nineties, for up to ten years, we used to see a mysterious viral illness with low platelet count. Most will recover by themselves. Later, this was named by AIIMS as dengue. Because we used to treat them as simple virus fever, there was no panic. We never repeated platelets counts. No platelet transfusions were given.

Dr KK: Are you happy, that you did your MBBS in 1975-79?

Krishan: Yes. I learnt how to treat patients without investigations. We used to treat heart patients with lifestyle management with very satisfactory results. My fee at medical college was only Rs 100/- per month. I do not think I could have afforded studying at a private medical college at that time.

Krishan: Are you not happy that I never started smoking or taking alcohol in my college days?

Dr KK: Yes, I am very thankful to you. I know today how difficult it is, even for doctors, to stop addiction.

Krishan: I have heard you always wear a stethoscope?

Dr KK: You are right. I love my profession. A stethoscope, all the time, reminds me of my medical dharma.

Krishan: You are known to be deep into Vedic Philosophy then why are you planning the campaign Dilli Chalo on 6th June?

Dr KK: I am a Vedic medicine student and believe in both Rama and Krishna. Both taught us to fight for our Dharma in the interest of the community.

We need to fight for the rights of the patients, community and our profession. How can we allow second grade treatment to our patients by quacks and government sponsored quackery through AYUSH? How can I allow criminalization of medical practice on my doctor colleagues? How can I allow my doctors to go to jail for clerical errors? How can I allow my medical students to go for one more exam once they have cleared their MBBS? How can I allow my MCI to be replaced by a nominated body?

I believe in my conscience and I will do what is good for the profession. I do not think so you would have done differently if the same situation was in your era.

Krishan: I agree with you. I think IMA is doing a humane job for the community.

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About Krishan Kumar

Right from the age of four, Krishan wanted to become a heart specialist. Born in an average family of nine brothers and sisters he did his schooling at ASVJ higher secondary government school, Darya Ganj Delhi, pre-medical from Desh Bandhu College Delhi and in 1975 joined Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences Sevagram Wardha and did MBBS and MD Medicine from there getting a medal in every subject, topping all three MBBS and getting Nagpur University Gold Medal.

About Dr KK Aggarwal: At Moolchand Hospital, his boss was Dr K L Chopra (Krishan Lal Chopra), father of new age Guru Dr Deepak Chopra. To avoid confusion, Krishan Kumar now became Dr KK Aggarwal. At Moolchand, he joined as a consultant in Medicine and Cardiology, went to US for Fellowship in Non-Invasive Cardiology and Color Doppler Echocardiography, started Echo institute and Heart Care Foundation of India, received Padma Shri in 2010 and currently is the National President of IMA.

IMA, eMedinewS and eMediNexus congratulate all Padma Awardee Doctors for the year 2017

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Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.

Padma Bhushan
1. Shri Tehemton Udwadia, Medicine, Maharashtra Padma Shri
2. Dr. Subroto Das, Medicine, Gujarat
3. Dr. (Smt.) Bhakti Yadav, Medicine, Madhya Pradesh
4. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Waheed, Medicine, Telangana
5. Dr. Madan Madhav Godbole, Medicine, Uttar Pradesh
6. Dr. Devendra Dayabhai Patel, Medicine, Gujarat
7. Prof. Harkishan Singh, Medicine, Chandigarh
8. Dr. Mukut Minz, Medicine, Chandigarh

A paradigm shift in the thinking of IMA this year

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IMA represents the collective consciousness of 2.8 lakh doctors across 1700 local branches and 31 state branches. To further strengthen the Association, this year we have envisaged a proactive role for IMA: moving on from what “IMA can do” to what “IMA Should Do” or “IMA to Do”.

We have also defined our guiding principles for this year. In 2017, IMA policies will be based on

• Collaboration rather than cooperation
• Right action and not convenient action
• Good plans and not quick plans
• Good Governance
• Financial stability
• Effective time management
• From professional to community priority

Our endeavor would be a collaborative approach to problem solving or tackling issues and challenges, where, unlike in cooperation, we work together in partnership towards one common goal. A collaborative approach accomplishes more than what can be done at an individual level.

I ask all IMA leaders to close their eyes and imagine themselves as President of IMA for a minute and think of what they could do to help the organization and the community via the Association. And that is what they contribute to the working of IMA.

Give 2 minutes of your time every day to IMA and come out with ideas and plans and submit them to IMA HQs for review and possible implementation.

Right action taken at the right time yields the desired result, which is long-lasting. The path of right action may be tough, yet it is the one we will choose to solve a problem, rather than a more convenient action. A convenient action gives immediate gains, while the right action may not give immediate results.

Our aim is not to meet short-term goals. Hence, we want policies to be guided by good plans, which lay down a solid foundation. Good plans increase efficiency of working, facilitate effective utilization of resources, provide direction, promote teamwork and are goal-oriented. The gains from a good plan trickle down generations. Good plans therefore are not quick plans.

Governance simply means decision making and implementation of decisions. Good governance has 8 major characteristics as described by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.

Let us all follow these principles in one voice and make the Indian medical profession the best in the world.

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA and HCFI

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