Pandemic that exposed the healthcare

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Endemic, Epidemic, Pandemic and the words now so commonly used were for a large part restricted to the definitions we had to memorize for the exam of Preventive and Social Medicine ( PSM )as we used to call it. 15 years back, it seemed that science had conquered microbes and what we had were the newer challenges like obesity, cancer and so on. Yet, a tiny virus changed the notion and exposed the troubled healthcare in its aftermath. Somedays, this just appears to be a scene from a science fiction movie. At others it feels like this all came too early. On other thoughts, it feels this was the way previous civilizations ended.

Traditionally healthcare was government hospitals and may be small clinics and health centers by doctors who did not like to be restricted to the government working. Somewhere came a few big names who revolutionized the healthcare by bringing in state of art infrastructure, newer technologies to doorsteps and suddenly became a craze. Setting up such a big infrastructure and manning it up to keep it fully functional is not a child’s play. Even without a single patient, the annual maintenance costs of a simple equipment like an A.C plant to the complex PET scans…the salaries right from the cleaning staff to the CEO is massive. Thus led to increasing costs and then competition ensued. Somewhere, in all that Healthcare became a business, where like all other things health lost the priority, so did the doctors. In the name of wellness, hospitals became hub for more profitable options. The public anger had been palpable for years with doctors facing the wrath now and then.

And then came this virus. The pots were banged cheering the doctors who were suddenly equated to Gods. They weren’t humans still. The governments and so called corporates shirked from their part. Shortage of beds, inadequate staff, lack of awareness and propagation of wrong information have all led to pandemic take a ugly turn. At one end are the good Samaritans including many doctors and other healthcare staff who have come across and gone beyond the way to help those in need. While the other spectrum is that of greed where those people have made business out of the situation.

Could we have done better? Yes, the warning bells had been ringing for quite sometime. Yet, we are invincible attitude did not let the leadership pay heed to the disturbing signs. Will better days ever come? Only when, common sense prevails. The healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, lab technologists, ward clerks, receptionists are reeling under the increased workload. Not only is all this physically tiring, but seeing the death and devastation is mentally disturbing as well. Now is the time to stop believing all the unverified information and listening to the sane medical advise .. listening to those who have seen the worst of it.

Photo by Jakub Novacek on

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