So I went to a nearby government hospital and met the civil surgeon. Without even bothering to read the form she began filling it. When I pointed out that she was not making the entries in the correct places she snapped rudely, “I do this all the time. Don’t try to teach me. I am not here to learn from you.”
I insisted that my office staff would not accept the form if she didn’t make the entries correctly. But she stuck to her guns. Then she sent me to the ophthalmologist to get my eyes tested with the admonition, “Be polite to her” repeated twice. In fact, she was the one who needed some lessons in politeness.
I had only pointed out her mistake but obviously she was one of the many people in this country who don’t like their mistakes pointed out to them. The ophthalmologist, another hatchet-faced lady, summoned me inside even though another patient was being tested and when I told her my need, she summarily dismissed me saying, “Come back later.” As if I had barged in of my own accord.
Quite disgusted and enraged by the behavior of the two women I
stormed out of the hospital. I shuddered to think of the plight of
the poor patients who have to endure such behavior daily from such
so-called doctors who have taken the Hippocratic oath to alleviate
the pain and suffering of the diseased.
If this is the way they behave with well-off professionals, their behavior towards the poor can only be imagined. As it is, I detest doctors and this incident only confirmed my impression of them as a money-minded and materialistic bunch who see their profession not as service but as an opportunity to mint money.
It is not surprising at all. Before, people took up medicine as a career because they saw it as a noble profession. My mother was a doctor herself but she was someone who didn’t even charge money from the poor and sacrificed her personal life for her patients. I chose not to follow in her steps because I don’t like hospitals and I didn’t like the idea of sacrificing my personal life.
But today, greedy parents coerce their children to become doctors often paying astronomical amounts to get medical seats. The frustrated children, thwarted from following their natural desires, take it out on their patients. It is a vicious circle. It is precisely because of these reasons that I had steadfastly refused to apply for a government job all these years and preferred to work in the private sector where I was sure I would get the opportunity to use my talents and do my work efficiently.
Incidents like these make one wonder if the government should be in the business of providing employment, if this is what happens to the morale and character of its employees. Government service is just a facilitator of corruption in India. Perhaps privatization is a better answer after all.