A mural depicting a health worker caring for the country during the COVID-19 crisis. (Anindya Chattopadhyay/TOI)

A doctor is a human too at the end of the day

With the Pandemic affecting many lives, doctors were the worst affected as they were most vulnerable to the disease. Apart from that many health professionals were subjected to violence from the attendants belonging to the patients’ family, says Dr. ARUN MITRA 


EVER since the pandemic began, doctors have been on their toes all day attending patients, trying to save lives. Lately, there has been an increase in violence against doctors.  A doctor was called to the police station for inquiry into a complaint lodged by him against someone who had misbehaved with him.

On asking why did the doctor did not retaliate when the said individual was misbehaving, the doctor politely responded that they aren’t trained to do so.

Society expects a doctor to behave in a certain way, hence it is the duty of the doctor to be modest, caring, and polite towards the persons who visit him for consultation or advice. Textbooks hardly tell a medical student how to communicate with patients when dealing with a crisis or how to win a patient’s confidence. What is learned is theory which is very different from its practical experience.

Communication is Vital 

Therefore, young doctors must be trained to communicate. Communication is key to solving their problem, as otherwise, it becomes difficult for them to explain a pattern of disease to the attendants or to break the news of a certain patient’s demise.

It has been noticed that young medicos face the wrath of attendants who lost a family member. It is easy to blame the doctor for his or her negligence due to which a patient passed away.

Likewise, it is not that incidents of negligence do not occur, but it is not a routine as the doctor has to meet up to her or his reputation in the society and continue with getting the goodwill of patients.

Doctors demand for their safety 

Doctors are now demanding central legislation to the fact which will be a guiding force for all the states to adopt and for this, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) gave a call to hold a National Protest Day on 18th June.

Doctors are demanding laws against people who indulge in violence against the medical faculty or vandalise property. A few states have come up with such laws, but they have not implemented them yet.

They have been working overtime, which makes them exhausted mentally and physically. An add-on to the exhaustion is also because of the long duty hours done in PPE kits. Families of frontline workers have been affected mentally which is also affecting their families that live in constant fear and stress.

There has been a demand that such health workers should not be made to work for more than four hours a day in the Covid-19 wards. In many parts of the country, the doctors have not been given their due credit or wages.

The doctors protested when they were not being provided the basic equipment to protect themselves from the virus. They also protested for an increase in wages when on such duties. Only showering flowers and honouring the frontline workers does not build their morale. Nearly 3,000 doctors in Madhya Pradesh have threatened to submit mass resignations in case their demands are not fulfilled.

Also Read: Union Cabinet approves Ordinance making an attack on doctors, healthcare workers to be a cognizable and non-bailable offence

Fake claims and medicines for Covid-19

Modern science is dynamic and believes in evidence-based practice. Therefore, doctors were outraged when the Union Health Minister started promoting Coronil manufactured by Baba Ramdev who had claimed it to be a remedy against the Covid-19 but had no evidence for it.

Ramdev said that people died despite the doctors and vaccines. This has been highly contested by none other than the IMA. They demanded an FIR against Ramdev for his claims which could damage the management of Covid-19.

As unscientific ideas could influence people, they would become hesitant to adopt scientific medical treatment for the management of the disease.

Unfortunately, neither the Health Minister nor the Prime Minister took any notice of this demand of the doctors. This negligence of the higher-ups in the government has further irked medical personnel.

That is why we see the propagation of the use of cow urine, cow dung or religious rituals to fight back the Covid-19 along with the spread of anti-science ideas. (IPA Service)