National Doctors Day: Are we doing enough to protect our life savers?

Typically, in an Indian household when a child grows up, Indian parents expect them to be doctors or engineers. But do we respect and love the same children when they actually become our life savers?

July 1, every year, is celebrated as National Doctors Day in India as this date marks both birth and death anniversary of prominent Doctor Bidhan Chandra Roy who was also the Chief Minister of West Bengal in early years of post independent India.

In 1991, Government of India established National Doctor’s Day to recognise the contributions of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy and also honour the Doctors nationwide.

Currently, the doctor-patient ratio in India is 1:1445 which is lower than WHO’s prescribed ratio of 1:1000. Doctors work day and night for their patients’ well being and this even increased since March 2020 due to COVID-19. But how much we as citizens give them in return?

India has suffered because of acute shortage of Doctors since the beginning as they never got the remuneration they deserve. This has always led to brain-drain in India as Doctors shift to other developed countries for better career prospects as they receive better salary and opportunities there.

Since the beginning of COVID-19, the only hope to get out of this deadly pandemic were Doctors and health care workers. Whenever our loved ones contract the virus, we immediately look towards our doctors with a helpless eyes, and Doctors without caring about themselves tirelessly give their life and time for us.

Some incidents in the recent past haven’t been so fruitful though. Doctors and other healthcare workers were brutally assaulted during the entire first and second wave and this is another downfall our country has witnessed.

Even on eve of Doctors day, two doctors were assaulted in Delhi yesterday after having a heated argument with two fellows. From an assault in June 2020 in Hyderabad to several such incidents in all parts of the country like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam and many more shows that we as citizens have failed our doctors.

Citizens have to understand by doing such acts of violence, their loves ones whom they lost won’t return. Yes, if any citizen feels their loved ones faced hospital casualties, they’ve a right to protest and they can take the legal procedures but they must not come into emotions and act violently.

Indian Medical Association has held several protests to voice for the rights of doctors. Nearly, 3000 Doctors resigned last month in Madhya Pradesh after High Court declared their strike as “illegal”. Several more prominent as well as junior Doctors in the country have vowed to not serve India as they feel citizens do not treat them with dignity.

If this goes on, India would have a vast decline in doctors per thousand people ratio and all the lives of Indian citizens will be at stake because private hospitals charge a lot and most Indians won’t be able to afford them due to mediocre and low income.

India would face a dangerous phase just like it faced in the second wave of pandemic if things continue like this till the upcoming third wave which will probably hit India by the end of 2021 as predicted by health experts. Stricter parliamentary laws against anyone who assaults doctors and moral policing of citizens can improve the doctor-citizen relationships however.