Life Deserves Respect and Care
When you are born in a middle-class family of a populated developing nation, you are used to standing in queues.
While someone like me can be patient if it is a queue for food, washroom, movie ticket, public transport, etc, things that do not require entitlement but work on sheer mannerism of first come first serve.
But I cannot be patient when it is a matter of health, life and death.
Recently one of my experiences taught me a lot about the sad condition of healthcare in our country. Around 9:30 pm one night , my father suddenly felt extremely uneasy health-wise, yet it being a national holiday, we couldn’t find any doctor nearby. Hence he had to be rushed to the closest (5-6 kms away) well-known ‘private’ hospital. A public hospital in our country means another long (never-ending) queue and one definitely needs someone’s approach to be given importance or priority there.
So, when we went to the emergency section of the private hospital, it shockingly looked like that of a public hospital; there was chaos and mayhem all around. On top of all that activity, there was a distinct lack of warmth displayed in the way the doctor or nurses were dealing with the patients. yet one thing any unwell person will look for more than medicines is—warmth and empathy towards their condition. While there might be a possibility that those doctors and nurses might be working overtime or may be having a bad day due to difficult cases. But the point I wonder about is that how could all of them together at once be tired or sad to be going through their ‘phase’ of cold ‘treatment’?
It was dismal, the condition that patients and their families had to resort to: request the doctor to look at the patient, request the nurse to do the required tests that were supposed to be done, etc. Moreover I saw a couple of people arguing with the doctor and a security person talking rudely with the relatives of a patient: thereby adding to the distress of the other patients and people around.
While the tension of knowing what had happened to my father was immense and the delay in his treatment was nerve-wrecking, yet the sorry state of health facilities in my country worried me. Not just for the citizens but worry also about the future of our country, wherein the proportion of numbers of doctors and specialists to the number of patients in the country is skewered. India is and has been growing as a tourist medical destination and people from different countries travel to get themselves operated in India, for a much cheaper care and few hassles involved treatment. But I wonder if amidst all that ‘foreign’ care, we as Indians care for the health of our own citizens.
Another thing that came to my mind was that if someone from a middle class family who can afford private hospitals was left feeling sorry and helpless; then how are the monetarily-less blessed families getting treatment and are they getting any treatment at all?
As a responsible individual and a sensitized citizen of the country, I really don’t know what I should do to remedy the situation even if by a bit. I don’t have enough money or resources or contacts, to even think of helping the needy people of this country regarding their health issues.
But yes this incident has both motivated and instigated me to take organ donation and blood donation seriously. To help in whatever small way to bring back the heal in the health. Through the medium of this piece of writing, I also implore and request the reader to do the same, as before what we are on the outside as people and from a family, on the inside we are all human beings.
And so I wish someday irrespective of class, caste, gender and race, life of every individual gets the respect that it deserves. I would like to quote a famous song by Michael Jackson here, “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race.” As we are all united by one common thing—all made of the same flesh, blood, body and soul that needs to be ‘treated’ equally and respectfully.