Monday December 10, 2018

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.

JK1

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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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

Also Read: British Parliament Access Internal Facebook Data Scandal Papers: Report

Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)