Public Interest   Exclusive
The Indian Medical Association should indeed sue Aamir Khan!

Medical malpractices and related corruption are rampant but the truth rarely comes out. And that is why it would be great if the IMA sues Aamir Khan

I recently came across a news item in The Hindu which stated, “The Indian Medical Association (IMA)…demanded an immediate apology from actor Aamir Khan, accusing him of having defamed the medical profession in the 27th May episode of his TV show Satyamev Jayate, and warned him of legal action if he didn't do so. IMA secretary general Dr DR Rai told journalists: ‘Every profession has its black sheep. …But it can safely be claimed that the white sheep will always outnumber the black ones in every field. …It was extremely wrong on the part of a responsible citizen of the country and a public figure like Aamir Khan, whom most of the citizens of the country might even consider as their role model, to put the rotten eggs over the good ones,’ he said.” (IMA demands apology from Aamir)

There is an interesting parallel here and associations, irrespective of the industry, seem to be more oriented to claiming that the black sheep (in their industry) are far and few. Folks, you may remember that in June 2010, about three months before the height of the Indian microfinance crisis (October 2010 onwards), the then chairman of MFIN said almost the same thing and I reproduce his quote:

“Unfortunately, recent headlines have focused on some aberrations in microfinance that have then spread misconceptions about the industry as a whole…We want to emphasize that the sector should be judged by its median and best and not by the black sheep that damage our cause and the cause of the people we wish to serve. Every industry has its bad apples and we are committed to expose and expel them.” (MFIs as engines of inclusive growth by Vijay Mahajan, The Economic Times, 28 June 2010).

What happened thereafter is well known and it is another matter that neither MFIN nor other actors in the Indian microfinance industry did little to stop the black sheep—some of whom were members of MFIN. Part of the reason as to why the Indian microfinance industry and MFIN were unable to act on the black sheep was perhaps because of the fact that some of the so-called black sheep MFIs were themselves part of the overall governance structure at MFIN. Therefore, it became slowly clear that huge conflicts of interest prevented the association from acting in public interest and in accordance with its original mission. I wonder if such a situation prevails at the Indian Medical Association as well.

That apart, I am really looking forward to the day when the IMA will sue Aamir Khan and I hope that they do so immediately. I am sure that given the disenchantment with the medical profession in India over the last few years, many Indians (myself included) would be willing to implead themselves into the case and provide tangible evidence in support of Aamir Khan’s views.

Without question, there have been many good doctors who have provided yeoman services to this country.I do not think anyone is disputing that. However, what needs to be squarely recognized is the fact that medical malpractices and corruption cases are indeed increasing by the day. I report a few such instances here:

Instance # 1: A 30 year old acquaintance underwent spinal surgery to remove a disc. During the operation, his nerves were damaged. In spite of additional surgeries done by the hospital, he could not be cured and he now lives with acute back pain.

Instance # 2: In another instance concerning a friend’s 52-year old mother, during a back surgery, the spinal canal was supposedly accidentally punctured and the patient suffered a serious disability and now lives with long-term pain.

Instance # 3: A maid servant, working in a friend’s house, aged about 57 years, had complained of muscular type of pain. On her way back home, she went in search of a doctor. She saw a clinic and entered by mistake—as she could not read/write she did not realize it was a dental clinic. When she walked out she was poorer by almost Rs912 (almost 20% of her salary)—which had been taken by the clinic for a whole range of unnecessary tests and medicines that in no way would have alleviated her original (muscular) pain.

Instance # 4: A friend’s uncle (about 79 years) was admitted to a large private hospital a couple of years ago with gall bladder related problems. According to the family, negligence in treatment, unhygienic conditions and lack of standard care during the 1st three weeks of hospitalization led to respiratory complications and the patient had to be put on a ventilator. After a harrowing five months, by when the family had to cough up close to Rs1 crore for hospital and other medical expenses, the man finally breathed his last.

These instances are but a tip of the iceberg. India is replete with examples of medical malpractices and related corruption. From wrong diagnosis to unnecessary and repeat tests/procedures to inadequate/wrong treatments, poor standard of overall care, gross negligence and the like, medical malpractices indeed appear to be burgeoning over the last few years. We certainly need to take stock and set the record straight. And that is why it would be great if the IMA sues Aamir Khan as then, the people of India, who have been traumatized by the medical malpractices and corruption could step forward to recount their own stories and happenings in a telling manner.

Without question, the commercialization of medicine (without necessary checks and balances) has perhaps resulted in medical ills, frauds and malpractices being perpetuated on the people. Therefore, it is time to build safeguards including the creation of an effective and easily accessible network of medical ombudsman who can take strong, severe and swift action against the (errant) black sheep in the Indian medical fraternity.

(Ramesh Arunachalam has over two decades of strong grass-roots and institutional experience in rural finance, MSME development, agriculture and rural livelihood systems, rural and urban development and urban poverty alleviation across Asia, Africa, North America and Europe. He has worked with national and state governments and multilateral agencies. His book—Indian Microfinance, The Way Forward, is the first authentic compendium on the history of microfinance in India and its possible future.)

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    Bhagavan ps

    8 years ago

    Indian doctors are like kids.

    They get attracted by what ever that comes anew and promoted with pomp and gifts like kids hovering for new chocolates that are put on TV irrespective of the quality and affordability.

    Sai Gopal

    8 years ago

    Good article


    8 years ago

    (Kind courtesy HM Belani Esq., on another post . . .)

    And here's why Bangladesh's basic healthcare and pharma policy is moving ahead of ours. Plus some very pithy and true comments about the MNC interference. ""When the team arrived in Bangladesh, we asked the health minister to provide the c.v. of all the members of the evaluation team. We told him before getting the c.v.'s that if any of them came from a multinational company we were not going to meet with them."" Brilliant stuff, worth the read, especially in view of the latest SMJ. . .


    Bhagavan ps

    In Reply to malq 8 years ago

    It is unfortunate that neither our national Health Policy nor the national Drug policy addresses the medication problem faced by each and every citizen in our country!

    There are two excellent examples in this world wrt the drug policy.

    1. Australia a well developed commonwealth country which has adopted a very strict patient oriented drug policy based on essentials and rationality.

    2. Bangladesh a developing country with not much resource to boast of compared to India which again has a similar patient oriented national drug policy based on essentials and rationality.

    Where as in India we have a so called national drug policy which is more biased and lenient towards industry and literally 'don't care' at the patient's plight when it comes to rationale, essential and affordability.

    In the name of progress and development we have become blind at the ground reality and the rationale of patient's needs.

    The total absence of documentation at the clinics and no defined accountability anywhere in sight and too much of secrecy in medical practice has provided very fertile land for the pharma companies to promote and push whatever they like to their advantage and our doctors being on tow to catch up with.

    The National new drug approval body is like our film censor body and the result is the heaps and heaps of molecules and formulations on the market.

    Well, what is required is NATIONAL MEDICATION POLICY which is more beneficial to the public and patients in particular and as the name itself suggests is more patient oriented.


    8 years ago

    It would be of great interest to the public at large and especially to the medical fraternity batting for their black sheep to re-open the case of Dr. Dr VSV Prasad (Vankayalapati Sri Venkateswara Prasad) . . . a search for his background along with Sanjiv Kumar Jain (who lost his child at the unqualified hands of this doctor . . .) will tell a lot about what the various medical councils really do.


    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to malq 8 years ago

    Thanks Malikji.

    I am shocked after I have gone through the link and got a background on his case. The case must be re-opened and surely, there is a larger public need to do so.


    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    In fact IMA, MCI are no less than well defined mortuaries. All fake/bogus credentials in India, UK (GMC) and ECFMG of USA. There was not this guy who was registered with ECFMG but some unknown person. But corrupt MCI ethics committee stood in favour these quacks.

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    8 years ago

    Please kind visit the following link to know more about the Late Seema Rai case:


    8 years ago

    Please publish an address, where patients should lodge complaints about the malpractices, with or without evidence. ( IMA ). Let them investigate the matters. Pateints should come forward without any fear, should clearly write the name of the hospital, lab or doctor involved. Some institutes or organisations should take the responsibility of following up the matter. A copy of the complaint should be sent to the organisation, and should also be sent to prominent News Papers. Plus take up the matter with Consumer Courts. It is not costly. It is not relatively time consuming. It is not troublesome. Do not be afraid.

    DR Aniruddha Malpani

    8 years ago

    Expert patients can help to ensure they get the best medical care from their doctors. " Taali do haath se bachti hey " - and if you remain ignorant and end up going to the wrong doctor or getting poor medical care, complaining and cursing afterwards will not help. It's much better to be proactive - and patients are not powerless or helpless !

    Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
    Medical Director
    HELP - Health Education Library for People
    Excelsior Business Center,
    National Insurance Building,
    Ground Floor, Near Excelsior Cinema,
    206, Dr.D.N Road, Mumbai 400001
    Tel. No.:65952393/65952394

    Helping patients to talk to doctors !

    Information Therapy is the Best Prescription - !

    Read over 20 health books free at

    Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
    relationship at

    Check out the Healthwise Knowledgebase at !

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    8 years ago

    I had a very simple question that I am trying to find an answer to:

    If the organ transplant itself is illegal as per law (i.e., the hospital had no valid license or certificate to perform the transplant of the specific organ) and the patient had not registered for getting a transplant of the specific organ, then, would (even) an informed consent - for such an illegal organ transplant - be valid as per law?


    Ratanlal Purohit

    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    As far as I know Kidney theft was rampant without the knowledge of the patient who was duped.
    Organ transplant is procedure requiring a lot of protocol. MEDICAL LEGAL REGULATORY.

    Dr Vaibhav G Dhoka

    8 years ago

    One should think when did this once A NOBLE proffession turned to this UGLIness i.e unethical practice.It started when corporate houses entered in this HOSPITAL business. like Appolo.They have only business in mind they want to cash on AILMENTS and they introdueced cut practice and finally to remaine in proffession others had to follow this.This is root cause.Their PRO instigates you to join this bandwagon.This is THRUTH.

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the comments on Major Rai's case (from the SJ episode) which I did not discuss in my article as it had a different purpose. Nonetheless, because the recent comments to my article did bring up Major Rai's case, I have had another look at the case. For starter's, I believe that it would be useful to focus on the following questions - strictly from a LEGAL sense - and get proper and factual answers. My questions are:

    1. As per the law, did the concerned hospital need to have a license to transplant organs such as pancreas in general? If so, did it as a hospital, have the required license for a pancreas transplant? If not, was it alright for the hospital to do the pancreas transplant? Were there any legal violations here? What are the ramifications as per the law?

    2. Had Late Seema Rai registered for a pancreas transplant? If yes, when had she registered and where? If not, how and why was a pancreas transplant done on her? Were there any legal violations here? What are the ramifications as per the law?

    3. If Late Seema Rai had not registered for a pancreas transplant and also if the concerned hospital did not have the necessary license to do a pancreas transplant (This would be known if Q 1 and 2 are answered), then how did the pancreas transplant actually happen? How could the hospital and transplant surgeon actually perform the pancreas transplant? Were there any legal violations here? What are the ramifications as per the law?

    4. I understand that transplantation surgeries require authorizations from an appropriate committee. Was there such an authorization from such a committee to transplant the pancreas on Late Seema Rai? If yes, when was this pancreas authorization received, what was the basis for this authorization and who were members of the said committee? Were there any conflicts of interest in terms of membership of the said committee? If there was no authorization to perform the pancreas transplant, how could the hospital and surgeon do the pancreas transplant on the patient, even if consent from patient/family had been obtained? Were there any legal violations here? What are the ramifications as per the law?

    Unless we get factual and correct legal answers to these questions, it would be difficult to dismiss the Major Rai case as an inappropriate one. I will come back with facts and answers when I have them. Thanks



    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    You have raised valid questions. In this connection, I received a chain mail forwarding, it appears, a detailed legal/medical point of view from one of the doctors. many points mentioned by the doctor, appear justified. About licence to do transplant of pancreas also, I am not clear from this. You can perhaps investigate futher, with this information. Here is the email:

    I am forwarding a copy of the letter written by the nephrologist who attended to Ms Rai whose case was misquoted by A Khan on his sordid show.

    I watched with shock and despair the Satyamev Jayate program of May 27, 2012. I am responding since you referred to me although you do not know me. I am the Nephrologist that you referred to while conversing with Mr. Rai. Mr. Rai has been making false and fabricated allegations for the past 2 years. While talking to you, in addition to providing you with false information, he also withheld crucial facts.Over the past 2 years, Mr. Rai has been harassing the Transplant surgeon and myself (Nephrologist) and the Hospital by filing multiple and concurrent complaints at various fora whether or not they have any role on his complaints. With his manipulations, he has succeeded to a great extent in bringing to a standstill transplant surgeries at the the Hospital which has caused a great deal of hardship to several patients. In addition, he has also caused immense damage to the noble field of cadaver transplantation in Karnataka State.Once you are aware of the actual facts, I have no doubt that you will express regret for having given platform to a sophisticated lier with immense theatrical and manipulative skills.Here are some facts that shed light on the truth.

    1. Mr. Rai never informed you that Mrs. Seema Rai underwent cadaver donor transplantation and was registered for a cadaver transplantation more than one year prior to surgery. The phone call on the night of admission was made because a suitable cadaver donor had been identified by ZCCK (Government body that allocates cadaver organs) and not by the doctors or the Hospital. Cadaver transplantation has to be done emergently, otherwise the organ(s) will decay within hours and become useless. That is why the patient was admitted on Saturday night (1 May 2010). The patient and her family were all informed about risks and benefits of transplantation for more than 2 years (since June 2008). In fact, whenever the patient consulted me she was eager to get kidney transplant so that she could stop the misery of undergoing dialysis. You can ask any dialysis patient, they will inform that they do not want dialysis but prefer transplantation.

    2. Mr. Rai, Mrs. Rai and Abha Rai all were again counseled for more than 1 hour on the night of admission about kidney and pancreas transplantation. Subsequently they also discussed with their relative in New York. Then on the night of 1 May itself Mr. Rai personally informed me and other doctors to proceed with kidney + pancreas transplantation. The Informed Consent form was signed on the night of 1 May itself and handed over the ward doctor. These facts have been documented by the nurse as well as the ward resident doctor. The State Medical Council as well as the National Law School of India have investigated the Informed Consent issue and clearly stated that Informed Consent was indeed taken prior to surgery. In fact, if the Informed Consent was not given on the night of 1 May, the cadaver organ would have been allocated to the next patient on the waiting list for cadaver transplantation who was also admitted to another Hospital on the same night for possible transplant surgery. (Whenever a cadaver donor is available, several patients on the waiting list such as Seema Rai are called and advised to get admitted so that the cadaver organ does not get wasted in case one or more patients are found to be unfit or do not want surgery.) If Mrs. Rai and her family had not consented for the surgery on the night of 1 May, then a surgeon from another Hospital would have proceeded to retrieve the cadaver organ on the night of 1 May. The surgeon from our hospital would have gone home. The very fact that our surgeon traveled on the midnight hours of Saturday to the donor Hospital and brought back the cadaver organs by about 5.30 AM on a Sunday morning suggests that the patient and family indeed had agreed for the surgery.

    3. Mr. Rai also concealed from you the fact that he had telephoned the Nephrologist several times on the night of 1 May to seek help to arrange for a special medicine (Simulect) that was to be given to the patient in the Operating Theater before the transplant procedure. The Nephrologist had personally called the Pharmaceutical company on Saturday night to help Mr. Rai to procure the medicine. The Nephrologist had given personal surety to the Company since Mr. Rai told him that he did not have cash to purchase the medicine in the middle of the night. In fact, Mr. Rai procured the medicine at about 7.30 AM on 2 May (Sunday) and handed the same to the Operating theater staff. If the patient and Mr. Rai had not consented for the surgery, why would he purchase the medicine and hand it over to the Hospital staff?

    3. Mr. Rai never asked the doctors or any other Hospital staff not to proceed with the surgery at any time. He was plainly lying when he made a statement to that effect to you. If in fact, the patient and her family had not consented for the surgery, that would have been Mr. Rai's first and major complaint when he filed an FIR with the police on 30 May 2010 accusing the doctors of murder. In his initial complaint to the police as well as to the State Medical Council, Mr. Rai never complained that he or the patient had not consented for the surgery. This fabricated allegation is clearly an afterthought on Mr. Rai's part.
    4. The patient did not receive 119 units of blood, i.e., 60 liters of blood. She received 33 units of blood over 4 days which is about 13 liters of blood since she had developed a massive bleeding condition called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). She also received platelets, FFP and other blood products to correct DIC. The doctors never told Mr. Rai and his family that 390 cc of blood would be required. No doctor can predict the exact amount of blood loss in a given patient who undergoes surgery. Besides, the large requirement of blood in this patient was due to the fact she developed a medical complication called DIC which can happen after any major surgery or major trauma. Normally in transplant surgeries, we do not transfuse any blood at all.

    5. The transplant surgeon is highly qualified to conduct pancreatic transplantation as well as kidney transplantation. He is trained at well known Hospitals in the United States where he had conducted numerous multi-organ transplantation surgeries. All relevant documents were reviewed by the Health Department before the Hospital was granted registration for multi-organ transplant surgeries in March 2010.

    6. Mr. Rai was again lying when he stated that the doctors had switched off their phone on 6 May after the patient's death. In fact, Mr. Rai spoke to the doctors several times after the patient's death. This can be easily verified by looking at Mr. Rai's phone records.

    7. The Hospital was registered for multi-organ transplantation. There was a clerical error in the Certificate which was acknowledged by the Health Department. The Health Department have clearly stated in their report that registration for liver includes pancreas as well (since the skill required for transplantation of both these organs is one and the same).

    8. Mr. Rai also withheld from you that the Karnataka Medical Council has thoroughly investigated the case and found no evidence of any negligence on the part of the doctors.

    9. Mr. Rai also withheld the fact the Hospital bill was not for the surgery alone. Most of the cost was due the use of blood and blood products and other medicines which was necessitated by the development of DIC and infection. If the patient had not developed DIC, the bill for a transplant surgery would have been about Rs. 3.5 lakhs. In fact, there was no additional charge for pancreas at all. Whether the patient received cadaver kidney or cadaver kidney + pancreas, the bill would have been the same. There was absolutely no financial motive in recommending the combined surgery. The surgeon recommended combined surgery because diabetic kidney failure patients do much better with combined cadaver kidney + pancreas surgery than cadaver kidney transplant alone. This has been well established in the medical literature. The surgeon made the recommendation with the best interest of the patient in mind. Even todate Mr. Rai has not produced any scientific evidence or professional opinion to contradict the recommendation of the transplant surgeon. All transplant specialists who have reviewed the case (from AIIMS-New Delhi, PGI-Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore, and USA) have unanimously opined that the patient received the best possible treatment and that her death, although very unfortunate, was not due to any negligence on the part of the doctors or the Hospital.

    10. Mr. Rai also did not inform you on the Air that he has filed a complaint with the Consumer Forum seeking compensation of Rs. 84,55,933/-. I am sure Mr. Rai has used his theatrical skills to convince you and your team about his false allegations. I am also confident that you will realize the lapse your research team has done once all the facts become apparent. I am enclosing a detailed Medical History as well and other documents that shed light on true facts.After my medical college, I studied and then worked in the United States for nearly 16 years. I came back with a dream to serve my countrymen. However, now after going through the mental trauma caused by a reckless individual who is inadvertently abetted by a corrupt officialdom and a thoughtless media, I am beginning to wonder if I made a mistake in returning to India. Perhaps, I should also go back to the United States like the doctor that you showed in the opening sequence of your program who returned to the UK because of the corrupt system in India.

    I invite you and your team to visit the Hospital, meet other patients who have undergone/undergoing dialysis, patients who have had transplant surgery, and meet the Transplant surgeon so that you can clarify all the facts for yourself.Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarifications.

    -Dr. R. Sreedhara
    NephrologistSee MoreSee More

    Ratanlal Purohit

    In Reply to Mathai 8 years ago

    Points taken. 15 days it took. Better late. The Corrupt officials? No details? Please Dr. Expose all.
    Put your points to Consumer Commission. File a case of criminal defamation. Let SATYAMEV JAYATE.

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to Mathai 8 years ago

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks and I have seen the mail and after that, I posed the above questions to Dr Sreedhara and he replied as follows:

    Dear Sir

    Kindly forward your questions to Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore.
    You may contact [email protected].

    I have since sent the questions to the above person at FORTIS and am yet to receive a reply back

    Will provide details as soon as I have an answer to these questions, which I believe are very critical to understanding the case of Late Seema Rai. Without correct factual answers to these questions, I am unable to comment on the case. Thanks once again for the information

    Maj Pankaj Rai

    8 years ago

    A rejoinder to Dr Rajanna Sreedhara of Fortis Hospital has been put up on the link below. Have the doctors of Fortis Hopital pledged to wash their hands with the blood of inncocent patients?

    smile mile

    8 years ago

    hi there, Unfortunately this is why doctors have concerns about the Satyamev Jayate of Aamir Khan about the healthcare system. If an apparently educated columnist of yours cannot make out the difference between genuine medical mistakes and medical malpractice, then what can we expect from the poor uneducated population of India. In all the examples he gives his evidence is " apparently", " according to family" etc. These could all be genuine medical mistakes that can happen with any procedure and that's why you sign the consent before surgery. I would expect your writers to be more knowledgeable and your atricles of higher standard with evidence to back up.


    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to smile mile 8 years ago

    Thanks sir and there is enough and more evidence to file a case. You seem to have picked on the writing style – I am very careful in reporting events or writing my articles. Also, the idea was not to make the article as one providing DETAILED examples of gross negligence, medical malpractice etc. The idea here was simple – associations defend their industry blindly and there are many instances of malpractices happening and the association would be better off looking into ways for preventing these. Also, the 2nd point was if IMA sues Aamir, there are many who will implead themselves into the case (myself included). Sir, I lost three close family members in 4 years due to gross negligence and poor standard of care and perhaps (please note my language again here) even some malpractices. At one time, I was even ready to file a case but I finally let it go because my father was dead and gone anyway. But I now realise, if not for myself, to prevent such occurrences in the future, I must put forth my views backed by facts and details. This is FYI. Thanks again for your kind comments

    ramesh s arunachalam

    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    By the way, I am writing up detailed artciles of 3 cases where gross negligence and poor standard of care (and perhaps malpractices) resulted in family members passing away. That will be detailed and focused on the cases and not on general matters. As some one who has spent over 15 years in hospitals for my family (almost 200 days a year in the last 3 years), I think I know reasonably enough about docters and their practices. You will see detailed articles with names (of some of best known and biggest hospitals/docters) with complete evidence in a few weeks. Thanks for your patience and Have a nice sunday!

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to ramesh s arunachalam 8 years ago

    For long, despite having very strong cases against docters, I did not want to perhaps cross the line as my father would tell me. But the more I see Docters rubbishing everything putforth, I am now getting mentally ready to put across my own experiences with names and SOLID evidence. You will see it in Moneylife in a few weeks as I have to revisit the cases (which are somewhat traumatic for me) and write about them. But, thanks to the comments of these docters, I now feel the need to share my experiences openly and will do so with carefully written case studies. Thanks for your patience until then

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    And a third point made in the article is and I quote:

    "Without question, there have been many good doctors who have provided yeoman services to this country.I do not think anyone is disputing that. However, what needs to be squarely recognized is the fact that medical malpractices and corruption cases are indeed increasing by the day."

    My simple argument here was this (malpractices etc) are increasing and may be one solution could be and I quote:

    "Without question, the commercialization of medicine (without necessary checks and balances) has perhaps resulted in medical ills, frauds and malpractices being perpetuated on the people. Therefore, it is time to build safeguards including the creation of an effective and easily accessible network of medical OMBUDSMAN who can take strong, severe and swift action against the (errant) black sheep in the Indian medical fraternity."

    This must also be seen in the context of IMA admitting there are black sheep. My point is like micro-finance, as an association, just do not merely admit that black sheep exist. That is perhaps well known. But as an association, you need to take action against them and look for processes and procedures including a MEDICAL OMBUDSMAN to make action swift and effective. I guess these are the larger points from my article!

    Ratanlal Purohit

    In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 8 years ago

    As and when your father and my late wife pemits me I would like to cross the line with you too.


    8 years ago

    We all must have been victim of commercialisation of medical profession. But that does not give right to any one to malign any one w/o giving them a chance to defend/give their side of the story. This appears to be a clear case of misrepresentation of facts. All involved including Mr. Rai and the producers should be made to pay for it. This trial by media is going too far

    dr chittranjan singh

    8 years ago

    absolute rubbish comments by a person who is not qualified enough to judge medical negligence. medical negligence can't be judged by hearing only the complaints of one side. none sense and irresponsible comment by this author.


    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to dr chittranjan singh 8 years ago

    Thanks sir for your kind comments. I believe I am competent to complain about doctors after three close family members have died in 4 years due to gross negligence and poor standard of care and perhaps even some malpractices. At one time, I was even ready to file a case but I finally let it go because my father was dead and gone anyway. But I now realise, if not for myself, to prevent such occurrences in the future, I must put forth my views backed by facts and details. This is FYI


    8 years ago

    Every action has equal & opposite reaction. If you say Armir Khan has done wrong by making an episode of exposing the bad doctors then I can only say that only those doctors with bad intentions or who are following the negative part of the profession will respond or ROAR in defence.

    If any doctor is not doing injustice to his profession them he will not even give a thought to this whole controversy. I am great full to a doctor who treated me recently and I worship him like god cos I experienced his good intentions where he treated most of his patients for almost free and also referred to specialists who charged 5-10% of their normal fees on his reference and in some cases free treatment.

    Even when the Medical representatives approach him with costly medicines and give him few samples he gives them to the needy patients free of cost and also instruct the MR's to supply some more samples free to that needy patient.

    Such people hardly feel the pinch of this issue when he is taken this profession as a service to the society instead of his family business to lead a lavish life.

    To kudos to such Doctors who are doing justice to their profession and let the doctors who are taking this profession as a business and are scared of loosing their money in the wake of this issue do their part of self defense.

    God Bless.... all



    In Reply to Nagesh 8 years ago

    My views

    I am a doctor who left India 8 years ago due partly to the issues mentioned by Aamir Khan in his programme on the state of healthcare in India. I am presently in the UK NHS AND THEREFORE NOT AFFECTED BY Aamir Khan's programme personally. Therefore I hope you will consider my views unbiased and read them objectively and not emotionally. I agree with the various points Aamir has raised in the programme. HOWEVER I HAVE A FIRM BELIEF THAT DUE TO HIS PROGRAMME LIVES WILL BE LOST. Read on and then tell me if I am wrong.Please remember I agree with most of the points he has raised in the programme.

    1- Aamir stressed the point of generic medicines which in itself is a great one. We in the UK prescribe about 80% of all prescriptions in generic form. BUT there is a big difference here and in India. Here all generic medicines are same quality as branded ones. In India where 75% of the population is in rural areas and a great proportion is not educated, how will you prevent them being sold chalk tablets by every pharmacist with accompanying dialogue " this is the generic that Aamir Khan was talking about in "satyamev jayate"". I suspect this advice to gullible public to ask for generics without checks on quality of the generic medication is a recipe for disaster and will result in LOSS OF LIVES as poor illiterate millions are fed spurious medicines in the name of "Aamir Khan recommended generics of Satyamev Jayete". The poor uneducated thousands have no clue about the difference in generic made by Pfizer, Ranbaxy etc from the one made in the next backstreet illegal medicine factory. I talk from experience as chemists have been selling low quality locally made generics to the poor illiterate folk all the time. Even in the government hospital and primary healthcare, medical supplies of generics are mostly substandard. If the quality cannot be ensured there, how will the private chemists be made to adhere to quality control?

    2. In healthcare trust and faith in your doctor is as important as, if not more than the actual treatment. In clinical trial even placebo medication ( dummy medication) works in a lot of patients because of their belief that they are taking medication for their ailment so should get better. Aamir Khan with one stroke has destroyed that trust and faith. No doubt black sheep should be exposed and punished but now the trust between millions of rural and urban poor and millions of well meaning god fearing doctors has been shattered. It will result in misery and mistrust and apparent lack of effect of treatment as patients believe now that their doctor is not treating them right and is a cheat.

    3. Though it is not a rule but does pass the test of common sense that people without requisite intellect who become doctors and specialists by paying 50 Lacs for MBBS and a similar amount for postgraduate degree are more likely to try and get returns on their investment. Since private medical colleges are a good source of income for politicians and their ilk, Aamir Khan could have highlighted the politicians in this nefarious nexus. But no, that could have upset some powerful people. Solution-Ignore the politicians who are the root cause of mushrooming private medical colleges where you can buy your medical degree. Go for the soft target, Doctors.

    4. I was enjoying every episode of "satyamev jayete" and even with this episode I was quite embarrassed that the IMA were appearing to be making a fool of themselves by demanding an apology from Aamir Khan, but having read the story of the doctors involved in the case that was highlighted, and , I am of the firm opinion that, maybe not from anyone else, but from this team Aamir Khan must seek apology and explain to us why he did not explore the truth before giving his platform to Major Rai.

    5. Again Aamir Khan has played with many lives by jeopardising the Cadever organ transplant scheme which is well established and well organised .


    In summary, Healthcare is a very complex field and is different from all other trades that involve things or commodities as here faith and trust works as much as the actual treatment. Therefore every step of change should be well thought out as it can have some very unexpected outcomes. Therefore for a person of Aamir Khan's calibre to not do adequate research and malign a dedicated doctor is plain shoddy and in very poor taste. I wonder if it was his enemies/detractors who suggested he include the case of Major Rai in this episode.

    It has also dealt a body blow to his programme's credibility as now with every guest, I and all others who have read the above mentioned articles and attached documents, will suspect Aamir Khan is dishing out half truths just to get high TRPs and justify his fee of Rs 3 crore per episode. Afterall he is from showbiz and therefore those tears might be, might just be, a proof of his acting prowess!!



    In Reply to SMILE MILE 8 years ago

    So far as quality of generic medicines is concern, or any other medicine, it is the responsibility of Government. In India the major obstruction is that the guilty are rarely punished, and rest of the mal-practitioners become bold.

    The Trust of the Patients is not lost simply because of this. Depending on the doctors, it is very well deep rooted. I must mention Late Dr. Anand Gokhale from Pune.

    Quality of Doctors is also the responsibility of Government. Again the point of not punishing criminals counts.

    Who is guilty, the person who commits a crime or the one who tells other that the crime has been committed. With more than 33000 black sheep going unpunished for years, nobody can expect any improvement in the situation.

    So far as the doctor is claims to be victimised, can take the matters to the Court ( Sorry about the delay, but that is the only alternative ). It is not the fault of Amir Khan.

    Ramesh S Arunachalam

    In Reply to Vaidya 8 years ago

    Please go to the following link to get a further perspective on the case:

    Public Interest   Exclusive
    Visakhapatnam Steel Plant continues to pollute sea with toxic effluents

    Former power and finance secretary EAS Sarma says that the Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant continues to release toxic pollutants because the state pollution control board is not taking any action

    Former power and finance secretary EAS Sarma has said that due to inaction from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) is continuing to spew out pollutants into Appikonda Vagu that drains into the sea.

    Mr Sarma, in a notice sent to Ravi Chandra, member secretary of APPCB, said,"...the toxic pollution caused by VSP is adversely impacting traditional fishing activity in the sea adjacent to the plant. APPCB which is the statutory authority to enforce the relevant environment laws has not cared to proceed against VSP".

    "If anyone can visit the Appikonda Vagu and see the black colour of the water and its turbidity, he or she will understand how VSP is releasing effluents in a highly undesirable manner. The confluence of the stream with the sea has changed the colour of the sea water, discouraging traditional fishing which used to take place in the past," said Mr Sarma, who is also the convener of the Forum for Better Visakha (FBV).

    According to the former power and finance secretary, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), has given a poor environmental rating to the steel industry in general and to VSP in particular. CSE has also observed that VSP's poor record in containing pollution is primarily on account of APPCB's inaction, he said.

    In his previous letter sent on 1 February 2011 to the then member secretary of APPCB, Mr Sarma said that the Visakhapatnam chapter of the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) had collected a sample of water from the channel draining waste water into the sea from VSP near Appikonda village. Here are the results of the lab testing:

    According to Mr Sarma, the presence of lead in the waste water is worrisome, as the place where this water joins the sea is a site used by the local fishermen for fishing. Lead ingested fish can cause carcinogenic diseases. An independent water sample analysis carried out at this site not only confirmed the presence of lead and other solid pollutants, especially the presence of chromium, nickel and copper. I am not sure whether VSP's waste treatment plant is fully operative, he said.

    Earlier in September 2001, the former secretary to the government of India sent a letter to the secretary in the ministry of environment and forests, complaining that the state level APPCB has neglected its responsibility to conduct public hearings on the basis of these environment assessment reports, apparently because officials have vested interest. (Companies procuring false environment impact reports, ministry overlooks fraud, says former top bureaucrat)

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    Public Interest   Exclusive
    Is the point-to-point AC bus service in Mumbai a precursor to bringing in BRTS?

    Will the concept of the point-to-point AC bus service help in getting motor car users to move to buses? Will it be useful in actually addressing transportation woes of the Mumbai as a whole or merely going to serve a small segment and to what extent?

    The Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are working to get a Point to Point AC Bus Service Scheme (P2PACBS) put in place. The scheme is to provide services from certain highly populated cooperative housing societies (CHS) to central business districts (CBDs). It is hoped that with such home to office trips in AC comfort provided, most members of the CHSs will opt not to take their personal motorcars out for their daily commute.

    The concept is not new at all but then the buses used were the non-AC ones and were being operated by private bus operators. This system is still in vogue. It is interesting to go into details to compare with BEST staged services. A non-AC ‘contract’ bus with capacity of about 50, charge a monthly sum of Rs900 per person for a 10 km trip length twice a day. Since most offices open between 9am to 10:30am, and also close between 5:00pm to 6:30pm, the bus operators have to make as many trips as possible within the given peak periods. These buses then idle around.

    Before the stricter norms for school buses came into vogue under the School Bus Policy, these buses were also being used on school trips. To enhance its income, the contract bus operator would try to reduce travel time by often bypassing traffic safety norms, which only a pedestrian or cyclist is able to observe as they are the most vulnerable groups affected by such flouting of safety norms. Also idle time parking is done wherever the contract bus operator finds place and narrow lanes become such parking places. They then keep the space reserved for themselves. Maintenance work is also carried out on these streets and footpaths if any get encroached upon to cater to the needs of drivers, washers, etc. The bus and the road/footpath space becomes dwelling for the bus staff.

    From the commuter’s perspective, Rs900 per month of say 25 working days a month means the commuter pays Rs36 per day. For the same trip by BEST, it would cost Rs36 a day (latest Express bus service fare). But the BEST buses are loaded to 70 to 90 persons during peak period and frequency not necessarily to every commuter’s need or liking. These are also not from the gate of their CHS. Contract bus thus scores over BEST from fare as well as comforts point of view. “Organized corporate commuters” will find the P2PACBS scheme a great boon.

    Basic operational costs of BEST buses are (i) driver’s and conductor’s salaries, (ii) fuel expenses (iii) maintenance of buses and (iv) depots for stabling buses. If the contract bus operator matched his driver’s salary with BEST bus driver’s, bus maintenance was as good as BEST’s (although lately that has been deteriorated too) and they paid for the parking too then surely for the level of service, the fare structure would significantly surpass the BEST fare structure as the private operator’s profit too has to be added to the overall costs. By parking on roads, there is a social cost citizens pay and usually these locations are rarely near residences of people who are affluent. Therefore, it is the less affluent who are providing facilities to the more affluent without in return receiving any facilities of improved general public transport; on the contrary they are subjected to greater hardships.

    Only 2.8% of Mumbai citizens use motorcars. This number comes to 3.5 lakh. If the point-to-point AC bus service is hypothetically provided for all the personal motorcar users, it will benefit only 3.5 lakh people. This is because those not opting to take the new bus service will be driving in less congested road and the rest will be using buses. Since the suburban trains carry 75 lakh people daily in miserable peak period loading and the current users of BEST bus services are in perpetual traffic jam during peak period, their plight does not get addressed by this P2PACBS. Since P2PACBS will be like the contract bus service, it will be a fixed time service, providing no flexibility in terms of time. People do not like to lose their independence of travel. This constraint is not acceptable to the affluent in general. When in 1974 the petroleum products overnight became three times costlier, car pooling was resorted to initially, but practically within three months, people using personal motorcars returned to earlier independent use of own motorcars.

    With the P2PACBS scheme in place, two scenarios could be visualized. (i) people in CHSs take the view that it is in their interest to be restrained by discipline imposed by the P2PACBS and travel in comfort or (ii) drop off the P2PACBS scheme as it is not being used adequately because non adherence to time by the commuters and thereby return to use of personal motorcars.

    In my opinion it is the latter scenario that will emerge, with personal motorcars driven by employing a driver. Since a car is available and is being driven by the driver, it will be used by the family for dropping and picking up children going to school and college and spouses attending social events and shopping and host of other things, adding to the prevailing road congestion. Even if the former scenario emerges, personal motorcar shall get used for all other purposes mentioned thereby providing no respite from the road congestion.

    Besides P2PACBS not providing independent mobility, it will also be subject to the normal delays of everyday traffic. All in all, I do not see any benefit from P2PACBS scheme but one.

    What is that benefit I foresee by P2PACBS? People who try out the scheme and find life adequately comfortable will suggest or demand (i) shortening of journey time by asking for dedicated bus lanes and (ii) increase such services so that if they miss one bus they could board another. Since this will be demanded by people who are affluent, the suggestion will be given greater weightage. Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) fulfils dual purposes. Firstly it will delink the fixed time boarding requirement of the P2PACBS scheme by providing frequent services. Secondly, BRTS will have significantly excess carrying capacity that will facilitate general public in using this service as an alternative to the overcrowded railway and existing BEST services.

    Whichever way MTSU, BEST or BMC proceed in addressing the transportation woes of Mumbai, it is hoped that they will put up an efficient and effective BRTS in place soon even if they initially look at addressing excessive personal motorcar usage aspect only.

    (Sudhir Badami is a civil engineer and transportation analyst. He is on Government of Maharashtra’s Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai. He is also member of Research & MIS Committee of Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority. He was member of Bombay High Court appointed erstwhile Road Monitoring Committee [2006-07]. While he has been an active campaigner against Noise for more than a decade, he is a strong believer in functioning democracy. He can be contacted on email at [email protected])

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    Sudhir Badami

    8 years ago

    Scheme details and another viewpoint.

    Sudhir Badami AUTHOR

    8 years ago

    In the country of Aryabhattas, Bhaskaras and Chanakyas, are we to be lauding ourselves for putting "30 car users in the bus" while the trains will continue to be in the state of super-crush load due to which nearly 4000 get killed in the railway system every year? Can we not think big and wise?



    In Reply to Sudhir Badami AUTHOR 8 years ago

    I meant 30 drivers per bus. If there were to be 10 buses in a particular direction then 300 cars would be less in the road. Imagine the relief for all where 'road rage' is becoming an infectious disease from the devoloped countries.


    8 years ago

    what a discouragement to such a good initative... Looks like people love to spend 10000 a month + toll + car maintainence than using bus


    8 years ago

    More than anything this facility allows atleast 30 people to avoid their cars. If this is not beneficial what else is?

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