Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
No Pill for this Ill
Does the medical profession really want society to be healthy?
 
Does this world, where business and money interests are supreme, want society to be healthy and tranquil? The answer is a big NO. No one wants to break her/his own rice bowl. The pharmaceutical industry, the most powerful lobby in the world today—thrice as big and powerful as the oil industry—will certainly not want people to be healthy. The medical profession is trying its best to make more and more people come into their net by ‘regular health check-ups’ of the healthy, run for the heart, run for cancer and so on; it is also doing its best to create iatrogenic illnesses. Hospitals, especially the corporate ones, seek more surgical post-operative complications, as the latter nets more money into their kitty than the original surgery itself.
 
Last year’s budget to treat non-fatal adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in Europe alone was $80 billion! Please give me one good reason why anyone should want to treat simple acne with azithromycin; but that is exactly what is done and on a long-term basis. A recent issue of The Times of India, in a front page news report, mentioned a study done in one Delhi medical college hospital, which showed that all (did I say all?) germs in the acne now have become resistant to azithromycin, a high-end antibiotic reserved for respiratory infections like pneumonia! Antibiotics are the time bombs waiting to explode anytime now.
 
Super-bugs, produced in hospital environments, are now threatening to make every hospital a death trap for terminally ill patients. Children in intensive care units (ICUs), in American hospitals, are dying like flies even with such silly germs like Clostridium difficile. This made a professor at Johns Hopkins recall an old Indian system in veterinary science—of feeding cows with severe infection with the dung of a healthy cow. She tried the same logic of normalising the bowel flora of seriously infected child with excreta from the mother of the child—or from any healthy person—fed through the Ryle’s tube to the sick child. She found it to be remarkably successful; this has now become a routine, called by a very dignified name—faecal microbiota transplant (FMT).
 
The non-science of Western medicine treats the human body as machine made from bits and pieces (parts of an engine). The human body is a dynamic whole working in tandem with its consciousness and environment. Most of our interventions upset both these tenets and land the poor patient in soup. Western medicine thinks that there is a ‘pill for every ill’ and a surgical correction for every defect. While this is not true, there is an ill following every pill, thus getting us, doctors, more clients to sell our wares. Therefore, most of what we do does not seem to do much good and, at times, more harm. Faith in the doctor is the one factor that stimulates our inner healer to heal the sick; thank God for that!
 
Our ancient healers had divine blessings and they did not charge any money from the patients. It was believed that if the healer charges for his services, his healing powers will decrease and, eventually, vanish! Today’s world believes that the more you charge, the better doctor you are. The root cause of all ills in society is human greed. A doctor, or engineer, is valued by the income that he makes.
 
I was reminded of the time when the ‘New World’ was discovered, thanks to India, the poor in Europe were trying to go the ‘New World’ in search of greener pastures. King Ferdinand, in France, made a statute which prohibited anyone who had learned jurisprudence to be barred from going there—to let people there remain happy and tranquil. How I wish he had barred the medical profession as well! 
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

10 months ago

Insightful article by Dr. Hegde, as always. He is one rare doctor who often questions the ethics in medical practice, and enlightens laypersons like me on the pitfalls in the medical system. Good health should be a fundamental right, and the Govt of India ought to ensure that every citizen has access to good affordable healthcare. But, as Dr. Hegde often says, medical profession has become more business-oriented than service-oriented. As he rightly states, ancient healers in India were highly respected for their cure as well as high ethics. They certainly didn't fleece their patients, as doctors do these days. Medical practice, like teaching, was once considered a noble profession and its practitioners commanded the highest respect in society. Unfortunately, both professions have been reduced to money-making machines, as was shown in several recent Hindi movies too. Wish our Govt would have an NHS (UK) type healthcare system, which is both reliable and affordable for the masses.

vnrao

10 months ago

what is the solution govt unable to keep sanitation though collectin enormous taxes no proper drinking water no clean hospitals suggest people to die without going to doctors what is the solution suggest

Vaibhav Dhoka

10 months ago

One should introspect and then take medical advise and not go by layman's advise.

pankaj jindal

10 months ago

Dr Hegde is right to a very great extent.But generalising it is inappropriate.

I wonder who is at fault ,whether doctor or the corporate hospital where he is attached and is compelled to do unmentionable things.

What happened over the last 50 years? 50 years ago doctors were next to God .Now there is massive erosion of that good will.
1. people who donot deserve any decoration are able to lay hands on Padam vibhushan and padma bhushan.
They in turn like a bagpiper promote a battery of undeserving fellows. This makes a majority and the problem begins.

2. What about private medical colleges and the management quota. Are crores involved there ? Pl correct me if i am wrong? How to recover this money?Can this be stopped by stopping the management quota altogether?Again correct me if I am wrong.
3 Just see the internet how certain corporate houses make thousand of crores every year.
4 I worked with one of these hospitals .I was asked to admit patients when they needed no admission.
I was asked to investigate when none were needed .
I was asked to transfer the patient to ICU when none were necessary.
On top of that I was told the( corporte) hospitals are NOT accountable for anything."We(corporate) are here to make money"
So who is to blame, the business tycoon who owns the building called hospital or the doctor .
This will not be solved because doctor is a soft target and so at the receiving end and tycoon has "connections".
Dr Pankaj Jindal

Are You Ready for Netflix?
On-demand streaming sounds great; but slow Internet speeds and high data charges will afflict Netflix
 
Netflix, the on-demand streaming service that allows people to sign up and decide what, where and when to watch TV shows and films, is now available in India. Netflix has changed the way people consume entertainment; will it fly easily in India? For one, the service may have been launched in a hurry. 
 
Peter Theobald, a senior executive from IT industry, found it very difficult to connect with Neflix from his smart TV, Win10 running PC, smartphone or even XBox gaming console. After spending over two hours in vain, his son suggested that he create a new Hotmail account and a new XBox live account with a US address, link both these accounts, and then log in to his existing XBox. In a post on Facebook, Mr Theobald said, “...Voila, Netflix shows up, we can download, create a Netflix account in India, finally, we are on. Is it worth it? We are not interested in TV shows, and the English movies available don’t seem worth it. But, surely, Netflix should have taken more efforts to see that their users in India had a more seamless experience connecting to their service.”
 
However, interconnecting Netflix with other devices is only one of the problems. The more important ones are: data consumption and Internet speed. We know that, in practice, we never get the speeds that service-providers claim. And I am talking only about the situation in metros. So imagine what would be the speed in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Next is the issue of data tariff. Consumers, especially mobile users, are being fleeced by all telcos under the garb of 3G and 4G data connection. For example, charges for a prepaid 3G mobile service are over Rs250 (for actually 28 days, another kind of fleecing). Internet connection at home can go anywhere towards Rs1,000 per month with a limit either on downloads or data speed. But, even after spending the money, there is no guarantee that you would receive the promised speed. 
 
According to Netflix, watching films or TV shows on its site can exhaust about 1GB of data per hour, for each stream of standard HD (high definition) video, and up to 3GB per hour for each stream of ultra HD video. In addition, you need to have a minimum connection speed of 0.5 megabits per second (Mbps). But even for watching standard quality content, the required speed is 3Mbps, which goes towards 25Mbps for ultra HD quality streaming. So if you are on a limited data plan, please take note. Another issue: Netflix is a streaming service. This means, you are watching it online and there is no provision for download and to watch the content later. This is what we Indians love to do the most. We download content, especially videos and songs, and watch or listen later as per our time schedule.
 
Netflix is offering free subscription for one month to users. After that, three monthly paid plans are available: Rs500, Rs650 and Rs800, which can be paid with an international credit card via Netflix, through the iTunes app store in most markets and via PayPal. Although these plans are given in Indian rupees, under the billing section on its website, Netflix says that it submits an authorisation for a certain dollar amount which can vary by region or by financial institution. 
 
Netflix is great streaming service which will work only when we have seamless connectivity with high speeds and lower data tariff.

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COMMENTS

Rajan RG

10 months ago

I have better connectivity and able to watch the films in HD quality without any issues. But the catalog has very less movies. The TV channels has the better collection than NetFlix. Most of the movies are 5-10 years old. One review site mentioned that only 7% of the collections are available in India compare to US. But we pay almost the equal amount.

Mohan Krishnan

10 months ago

I subscribed to Netflix on the second day of launching. I have MTNL unlimited combo plan (Rs 749 + 14.5% tax). I watched a few films but now I am getting constant buffering problem. So I stopped the subscription.

Monster snowstorm sweeps across US East Coast
Washington : A monster snowstorm that could bury the American capital under more than two and a half feet of snow swept across the US EastCoast with 85 million residents in its path, bringing the region to a virtual standstill.
 
Governors in at least 10 states -- Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky -- declared states of emergency Friday as the snowstorm began.
 
With the weatherman warning that the epic storm dubbed "Snowmageddon 2016" 
would last for 36 hours until early hours of Sunday, travel was disrupted in at least five major airport hubs, with over 7,600 flights cancelled on Friday and Saturday.
 
The ripple effect extended to Los Angeles International Airport, with 86 cancelled arriving and departing flights, according to CNN.
 
By Friday evening over 130,000 people had lost power as Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York faced blizzard conditions with winds of up to 50 miles an hour.
 
Cities from Nashville in Tennessee to New York started emergency operations to respond to what the National Weather Service deemed a "potentially crippling winter storm."
 
The Washington region's mass transit system took what officials called an "exceedingly rare" step of shutting down for the weekend.
 
"We have a forecast that we haven't had in 90 years," said Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser.
 
"It has life and death implications, and (people) should treat it that way,"
 
she said warning residents to "hunker down, shelter in place and stay off the roads."
 
President Barack Obama put off a White House ceremony where he was to award medals to scientists and technology innovators, including an Indian-American scientist.
 
The winter storm forced postponement of hundreds of events -- including the National Basketball Association games in Philadelphia and Washington.
 
"The real teeth" of the storm will be after midnight through Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service tweeted. "Heavy snow, increasing winds, lightning threat."
 
The storm could approach the 28 inches in January 1922 that ranks as Washington's snowiest storm and is likely to easily surpass the highest recent snowfall, 17.8 inches that fell in February 2010.
 
As night fell, most streets in Washington region that is home to 6 million people were deserted, restaurants were dark, and downtown streets normally busy with rush-hour traffic were eerily quiet.
 
Virtually all institutions and attractions in and around the capital region - including the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo - said they would be closed through the weekend.
 
The US national railway service Amtrak said it hoped to operate on a reduced schedule along the Northeast Corridor line.
 
In New York, where blizzard conditions are expected to hit early Saturday and bring 12 to 18 inches of snow, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to use mass transit and to stay home as much as possible.
 
"Unless it is urgent, stay off the roads," he said. "It's as simple as that."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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