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'Satyamev Jayate' tells half-truth about doctors
On Aamir Khan's TV show, 'Satyamev Jayate', the positive side of the Indian healthcare system was..

IN THE TV show, Aamir Khan did not say that there is no profession that is absolutely clean. Only doctors are blamed all along. They are obliged to serve by choice, not by compulsion. The private colleges charge a capitation fee of 40 – 50 Lacs for MBBS, the director should have also produced some evidence of such practice.

'Satyamev Jayate' is giving us some biased and one sided versions of a story. 95% of private colleges in India are owned and run by politicians. It is a bloody nexus between politicians and the Medical Council of India. The corruption by politicians is to be blamed for the mess, not doctors.

Dr. Gulhati said that doctors ask for 30% commission from pharma companies to prescribe their drugs. That is baseless, over-the-roof and sensationalising the matter. Lawyers take money from both the sides in a legal battle and most chartered accountants teach their clients how to save tax and also pass info to taxman on where his client saved tax. This is professionalism. Doctors are not alone to be blamed.

Satyamev Jayate' (literal English: Truth Stands Invincible) is a Hindu mantra from the ancient scripture Mundaka Upanishad. Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto. It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the national emblem. The emblem and words 'Satyamev Jayate' are inscribed on one side of all Indian currencies. The origin of the motto is a well-known mantra, 3.1.6 from the Mundaka Upanishad. The full mantra is as follows:

satyameva jayate n?n?ta?

satyena panth? vitato devay?na? |

yen?kramanty??ayo hy?ptak?m?

yatra tat satyasya parama? nidh?nam

Aamir Khan’s 'Satyameva Jayate' depicted half truth as the incidents involving an army major and his wife (who died because of forced surgery) and patients are exaggerated. The shocking tale was that of a village in Andhra Pradesh where women (on a large scale) were advised to undergo operations for uterus removal. Dr PV Ramesh, who was among the guests on the show, said it is impossible that so many women would have had to undergo the operation. As a result of those faulty operations, women are unable to conceive. These may lead one to think about the corruption in the medical professions. Some time we see the doctors behaving in the most inhuman way.

But Aamir Khan did not offer the truth in his film about the doctors. After highlighting a series of social issues affecting Indian society, film actor Aamir Khan, in the fourth episode of his show, turned the spotlight on healthcare and malpractices in the medical profession. Compromised ethics, corruption, scandalous revelations in medical treatments were among issues highlighted by Khan with the help of research and experts.

Khan emphasised on the fragility of life and how cheaply some rogue Indian doctors treat it. Right from prescribing wrong medicines and students paying astronomical fee for medical education, to genuine doctors practicing to serve humanity —Satyameva Jayate held a mirror to one of the most neglected areas of public life. The audience comprised of medical students and members of the fraternity. Khan wanted that every state government should follow the example of Rajasthan and open generic medicine stores throughout their states so that all citizens get medicines at the lowest possible price.

An effort was made to compare the numbers of Licenses cancelled in England and in India. Other details are also to be collected and compared. Number of doctors beaten on duty by goons from various political outfits in government hospitals in the UK and India in last 10 years, and also the number of people convicted for such crimes. The stipend (Salary a post-graduate trainee doctor/intern draws) or salary and accommodation facilities provided to the doctors of the two countries. The duty hours and working conditions of the doctors of the two countries are to be studied. The academic and research infrastructure being provided to the medical students. The most brilliant students who take up medicine, should take it only for service to mankind, they should go to other fields if they want to earn.

The question may be raised if doctors are not allowed to earn and spend a good life. To ask Dr. Devi Shetty whether he can do humanitarian work and earn at the same time is like asking Amir khan or Shahrukh Khan their income and generalizing it for every actor in the industry (Even junior artists). Just as there are only few Khans and Kapoors, there are even fewer Devi Shetty and Naresh Trehans who run their chain of multi-specialty hospitals spread all over the country.

Five-and-half-year MBBS training and one more year of compulsory rural internship at Rs. 15000 -20000 per month. In no other fields e.g Engineering, Management, a person would become post-graduate in this much time and start earning double the amount. If one doesn’t study further, the pay at this step is 22,000 per month. After above 6 and half years of graduation, 3 more years of post-graduation, followed again by compulsory rural / Government job for 1 year or pay Rs. 25 Lac bond. If one doesn’t study further, the pay at this step is Rs.40,000 per month. After this above 10 and half years, 3 more years of super-speciality, followed by 1 year of Govt job or a Bond of Rs. 2 Crore. And the seats are so few with tough competition, there tends to be a gap of a year or two in preparing for various entrance exams.

Why only Doctors are being forced to work in rural and government hospitals after their study? Why aren’t the lawyers forced to work as Public prosecutors before they can join some big foreign corporate firm? Why aren’t the CAs asked to work in CAG offices and various other government financial sectors before joining Multinational Giants? Now government wants that doctors should not immigrate to other countries without asking them. Why are not the IIT/IIM students stopped before they flee to foreign countries for big fat salaries? The film does not even recognize that doctors may be doing little social service, but at least they are not charging for it.

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