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National Doctors' Day: An interview with renowned Cardiologist Dr. KK Aggarwal
Every year on July 1st, India celebrates National Doctors' Day to honor the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. This observance fulfills a need to show the doctors and physicians in our lives that how important they are to us and how invaluable their treatments are that cure us.

On this special day, we spoke to New Delhi based renowned cardiologist Dr. KK Aggarwal, who's work has been recognized with prestigious Padma Shri and many other awards. A pioneer in introducing Clot Dissolving Streptokinase Therapy in India along with Dr. K L Chopra and Dr H K Chopra in 1984, Dr. Aggarwal is the Founder, Trustee and President of Heart Care Foundation of India. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Question (Q): Why did you choose profession of a doctor?

Dr. KK AgarwalDr. KK Aggarwal (KKA): When I was just 4 years old, I had the dream to become a doctor and particularly, a heart specialist. At that time, I had a mindset, that if you want to be anything in your life then you should be a doctor.

Q: You have been awarded with Padma Shri and many other prestigious awards. What importance these awards hold in your life?

KKA: I have been awarded with three national awards, i.e. Padma Shri, DST National Science Communication Award (Govt. of India) and Dr. BC Roy award. The awards are recognition of my work. You feel happy when you get recognized for the work you have done. But one should not work to get an award, it comes to you automatically if you do good work.

Q: Being a very senior doctor, what message would you like to give to the students of medicine and those who have just started their career as professional doctors?

KKA: Do the work honestly and have transparency in your work. If you have opted this profession to earn money, then you better do business and don't be a doctor.

Q: The heart ailments are on rise today, because of the stressful lifestyle. So, what will be your advice to the people?

KKA: Reduce the consumption of sugar, rice and maida. And respect the Indian culture and keep fast once a week.

Q: Treatment of heart ailments is very costly affair. Many poor people die because of lack of proper treatment. How this cost can be brought down in such a manner that it becomes affordable to all?

KKA: We are running an NGO, so poor people can come to us, we will provide them free treatment.

Q: What are the key challenges faced by the field of medicine?

KKA: People are dying due to diseases and there is lack of safe, affordable and quality health-care.

Q: Doctor's in government sector often go on strike and that too all of a sudden on most of the occasions. What is your views on, whether doctors should go on strike or not?

KKA: The strikes are done after giving a prior notice, and they are never sudden. And there is always a reason behind the strike. Coordination between management and the doctors should always be there and management should resolve the problems of doctors immediately.

Q: Medical has purely become a profession with huge commercial interests, with no mission involved in it now. Some big hospitals or group of doctors organize a medical camp and complete the formality of doing service to the humanity. What you think about this? Is it enough?

KKA: I am against the commercialization of medical services. One should professionalize the medical services and can charge for the service, but it should not get commercialized. The unnecessary tests should not be done and affordable health care should be provided. If you are not conducting the camp with true will then they should not be organized.

Q: Lastly, the country's health minister was in headline because of two controversial statements, which he later denied. Would you like to comment anything on those statements, especially on the issue of sex education in schools.

KKA: Dr. Harsh Vardhan is a good person, let him do his work and don't go into the controversies. He has come to do the work with a true spirit, so let him do his work. And coming to sex education in schools, Harsh Vardhan has not denied the sex education in school. Sex education is important to reduce the sexual harassment in the country.

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