Even as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded an apology from actor Aamir Khan for the May 27 episode Satyameva Jayate,his show that dealt with unethical practices of the medical profession,the Medico Friend Circle (MFC) and the Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES) have in an open letter to IMA urged them not to silence the messenger. We need to listen to the central message of the show and take steps to address the issues, said Dr Abhay Shukla,member of the MFC.
MFC,which has been in existence for 39 years,is a pan-India platform comprising health professionals,scientists and social activists,involved in improving healthcare,especially for the marginalized sections. FMES is an association of doctors and health professionals,which has been actively campaigning for reform in the healthcare sector and medical education,and has been publishing the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics since 1995.
We appreciate that you want to uphold the dignity of the medical profession. However,we feel that denying or minimizing the importance of issues raised on this show and demanding an apology from Aamir Khan is definitely not the most appropriate way of upholding the dignity of doctors,adds Dr Anant Phadke from MFC.
Instead,the IMA should try to reverse the current widespread unregulated commercialization of healthcare in the country,and contribute to the process of health system reforms for eliminating the distortions in medical practice. This,would be prove to beneficial to patients and would also raise the dignity of the medical profession, the letter said.
Critical issues regarding practice of cuts and commissions,irrationality in investigations and surgical practices,distorting influence of pharma industry on prescribing medicines by doctors,and inflation of patient bills consequent to all of these are rampant. This has resulted in massive issues related to both the escalation of costs and dip in quality of health care. There is no point in dismissing these issues as just being related to a few black sheep in the profession. Instead of rubbishing the show and ignoring its message,the IMA should treat this as a wake-up call for the medical profession,the letter added.
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