Thursday, September 9, 2010

To strike or not to strike…..for doctors that is a BIG question…..

A little piece I had written for the Indian Express a few years back….still relevant I think

Meanwhile the medical strike controversy continues unabated with the fresh issues n Jodhpur and Safdarjung.‘Doctor assaulted by irate Mob’ –‘Doctors go on strike’ –‘Patients dies due to doctors strike’-‘Do doctors have the right to strike’- ‘The ‘hypocritical’ oath’………..All these headlines and scroll lines (scrolling news seems to be definitely getting more popular that dire old newspaper headlines – especially from everything from an air-crash to a B-grade bollywood star’s latest affair is prefixed with a bold ‘FLASHING NEWS’ or ‘BREAKING NEWS’ in bold yellows and reds)
And madam Barkha Dutt, Mr ‘Know all’Arnab Goswami et al were at it again and busy the last few days following a string of medicos’ strikes in different parts of the country.

The issue of whether and how doctors can strike is probably going to be unsolved for a long-long time. One thing I feel is that whatever the provocation we doctors should never the alienate the general public. There were instances when doctors boycotted official duties but at the same time set up make-shift medical camps outside the hospitals to treat patients. To take things a step forward you could set up similar camps on more visible areas like outside government buildings/police stations etc.More often than not the root cause for any underlying related problems is a stupid ,khadi clad politician or a shrewd ‘suit-boot’ clad bureaucrat…..this would be one way to take the strike to their door-step while ensuring that public opinion does not turn against us doctors.

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