Wednesday June 19, 2019

Media reporting of medical doctors are not gospel TRUTHS

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By Dr. J.K. Bhutani

It was there earlier too but became prominent and absurdly clichéd with the broadcast of Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate in 2012. The rot of some unethical doctors was generalised and made a gospel truth for the ‘not-so-informed’ illiterate and naive millions in India. It has been a falling grace ever since. Every day the news channels and print media, especially vernacular press is full of filth and bias directed towards the medical profession and the hospitals. All Government sector setups, private hospital and small clinics are projected and shown as butcher shops and all the doctors manning these are devils and Draculas.

Doctors stethoscope

The disgrace and distrust are unending it seems. so much so that 78 per cent of doctor parents recently asked about the choice of the career for their kids RESOLVED not to make their wards doctors in future. The ‘Why I will never allow my child to become a doctor in India’ blog, which became a cult and fashion read of the high, mighty and the middle class is becoming an educative pamphlet for the medical personnel before selecting the careers of their children.

Is it really so bad and is the end of the tunnel dead and abyss?

In India we have just 2 percent of the annual budget for public health, and with an average ratio of one doctor for every 1700 patients, the public health system is overburdened and overstretched. The practice of amazing skill, compassion and the state-of-the-art medical care, 24×7 everyday all through the year is not an easy task and when the whole world recognises the prowess and the gifted skills of Indian doctors and India is on the verge of Medical Tourism hub of the world, WHY our media finds only flaws, faults and sins in our doctors.

The life of a doctor is not all hard work, labour and bad press, it is much more. Each day can be a realisation and revelation of God and of the humbling healing powers of faith, love and compassion. The pride of being a doctor is precious. The suffering, if any, is by choice and the material benefits are incidental. A good doctor is the BEST a human being can be.

Instead of drawing unfair generalizations, let us join and resolve to press for the followings from the government, media and the public.

  1. All medical reporting in print, broadcast, television and social media be done by qualified journalists who know the nuances and ever-evolving medical science’s miracles and the yet imperfect scenarios and limits. All journalists reporting with a bias or yellow journalism motives should be appropriately reprimanded or punished.
  2. All the cases of medical negligence put up in the Consumer or the civil courts should be decided after having the expert opinion of the subject specialist from the teaching medical colleges or the best would be if some judges are trained in the medical sciences too.
  3. All state and the central governments should try to inculcate and encourage the scientific temper in the school curricula and the government media services. There should be a couple of broadcast Television channels or a web resource for spreading the scientific rational of the diseases and the benefits and the limitation of the science. Above all, the governments need to strengthen the public health care services to reach the maximum populace and integrate the private sector with more insurance inclusions.

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Dr J.K. Bhutani MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self healing powers of human organism.
You can follow him at  https://twitter.com/drjkbhutani

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India: Sugar Mills, Distilleries under The Scanner of Special Task Force of UP Police for Links with Hooch Syndicates

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol

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India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

As more than a hundred people died in ‘poisonous hooch’ tragedies in Uttar Pradesh during the past one year, a few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Working round the clock to bust ‘killer syndicates’ supplying cheap industrial alcohol to bootleggers and gangs involved in manufacturing of illicit liquor, STF has seized more than 10,000 litres of rectified spirit in raids across the state in the past one month.

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol and is usually used in manufacturing of paints, fragrance, printing ink and coating. As it is cheaper, the liquor syndicates get it smuggled from distilled ethanol manufacturing units. On June 16, STF seized 5,750 litres of rectified spirit (high concentration alcohol) from the possession of a big time crime syndicate active in Lucknow and Kanpur.

The STF rounded up the kingpin, Suraj Lal Yadav, along with six other members of the gang. During interrogation it was discovered that Yadav was well-connected with some distilleries in Haryana. Large quantities of industrial alcohol was smuggled out of Haryana and pushed into hooch manufacturing dens in UP.

Concerned about frequents deaths in UP due to consumption of poisonous hooch, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a statewide crackdown on illicit liquor manufacturing gangs after 21 people died in a hooch tragedy in Barabanki two months ago. The STF, considered the state’s premiere crime busting agency, subsequently geared up to intercept scores of tankers and private vehicles being pushed into UP from Delhi and Haryana.

India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

“The syndicate involved in smuggling of rectified spirit has spread its tentacles in the state. Even murders have taken place in disputes relating to the smuggling. But our raiding parties are determined to bust the gangs. Innumerable cases have been registered by us in the past one-and-a-half years,” said Amitabh Yash, Inspector General(IG) of STF.

Even though the STF, after rounding up the accused handed over the investigation of the case to the district police, the agency is said to have the most precise data on organised crime in North India.

“We seldom investigate the cases as it involves prolonged court work, so our main aim is focused on cracking heinous crimes, particularly organised by crime syndicates. At the moment, gangs involved in illicit trade of hooch are our target,” said Amitabh Yash, known for his skills in dealing with underworld operations and syndicate crimes. When asked whether a few officials of the excise department and a couple of distilleries could be linked with smugglers of rectified spirit, the IG said a report was given in this connection to the government.

While high excise duty makes liquor expensive, hooch, on the other hand, is available for less than Rs 20 per bottle. At places the rates are less than even Rs 10 per liter. A report, in connection with the Saharanpur hooch tragedy in February 2019 which took the lives of over 50 people, reveals that the quantity of rectified spirit mixed in the drink was so high that it had the effect of poison.

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The report says that rectified spirit was smuggled by criminal gangs which were hand-in-glove with local authorities.

“The gangs have links in distilleries and chemical factories from where industrial alcohol is smuggled out at a very cheap price. It is later re-packed in drums and transported to hideouts of manufacturers (of illicit liquor),” said a source in the police.

With widespread sale of hooch across UP, CM Yogi Adityanath has instructed DGP O.P. Singh to take stringent measures against the culprits and ensure that police secures conviction of those accused who are put on trial in cases of hooch smuggling or hooch-related deaths. (IANS)