Strike, strike, strike!! It is one word you hear more often in real life than in a baseball game. A word which brings entire life to a standstill, which can close an industry, can ensure you get to see rerun of your favorite program on TV.
So you did not get your pocket money, blame it on the strike at your father’s mill. You could not reach at your interview in time; blame it on the transportation strike. Your grandmother died for lack of medical care; blame it on the doctor’s strike.
Why? That is an oft repeated question by striking doctors.
All other professions go on a strike, then why such a hue and cry is made if doctors do it. After all isn’t it just another profession. We too have problems, we too need solutions. So what does it matter if we strike too?
Let me answer that for you.
Yes ours is a profession, but ours is not just another profession. It is one such elite one where a strike is always catastrophic. Can you imagine what will happen, if one fine day our military goes on a strike?
Scary, isn’t it?
In the same way, a strike in our profession means irrecoverable damage and it harms the very soul of our job. It harms, ‘The HUMANITY’.
Now let me tell you the basic reasons why doctors have become so much pro-strike.
1. To achieve quick solution from concerned authorities for our grievances.
2. In response to clashes with attendants of a patient on charges of negligence.
Let me say it bluntly. Strike is no solution to these problems.
Just tell me what exactly is the mistake of an elderly patient, suffering a heart attack, brought to a clamped shut emergency. Is he responsible in any way for the stupidity of a few medically illiterate people crying negligence?
The question then arises, what exactly must we do? What alternatives do we have?
While interacting with people on social media and especially to my uncle, who happens to be a top notch orthopedician, I have come to realize that the doctor-patient relations are at an all-time low. Because of our strikes and stuff like NRHM scam, doctors are fast losing their prestige in the eyes of those very people who once respected us as gods. The negative approach of media does not help either.
But coming back to the question, what do we do, if not strike? The solution is simple, TALK. Hold meetings with concerned authorities choose wise representatives put your problems in front of the administration in a civilized manner. If they still don’t pay heed, then selectively boycott them.
Talking can also save the weakened thread of doctor-patient relationship. Talk humbly to the attendants. I have myself seen some doctors talk shabbily to the attendants. Humbleness is one virtue every doctor must possess. If we are rude to the people, then there will be a backlash from them.
My uncle always says that patients are the biggest assets of a doctor. We have to invest in that. Building good rapport with our patients can ensure that they will vouch for us and support us in our issues. After all patients are our trust banks.
Always remember, everybody needs a doctor and everybody avails our service more than a few times in their life. Every one of them will feel for us if and only if, we display the virtues of a good doctor. The onus is upon us to save the doctor-patient trust before it hits abyss.
Once again, let me sum up the problems with a strike by doctors
1. It results in avoidable suffering and death
2. It is a breach of implicit contract doctors have with patients
3. It is against our Hippocratic Oath
4. It amounts to holding to ransom a weak & vulnerable segment of population for material gain.
5. It shatters the image of doctors as selfless healers.
Remember, 2 wrongs never make a right. In case of any strike, don’t we cry ‘why me?’, then why is it justified when we do the same?
I know many will disagree with me on this but….
That is the Truth…and this truth not merely hurts, it kills.