Health Minister’s advice to doctors
"Minister to doctors - talk more with patients", this was the heading of a news item which appeared in ‘The Island’ dated Jan. 16. He says that 40 per cent of the patients’ sicknesses evaporate when the doctor spends time talking to the patients. Quite interesting to note on what basis the minister calculated the figure 40 per cent.

The minister wants the doctors not only to inquire into the health of the patient but also to inquire about their families. The minister has said so in a ceremony where the new doctors were given appointments on Jan. 12. When advising young doctors ultra care should be taken because they might start talking about the families of the patients even beyond the limits and might question them on whether their sons and daughters are married, whether the husband or the wife is abroad etc. The other thing is that the minister is unaware of the number of patients a doctor has to see in his rotation. In an OPD it is nearly 100. If the doctor starts a chat with every patient, the ones waiting in the queue will start grumbling. A politician can keep on talking to a person coming to see him even for hours because he is in a safe room guarded by several security men.

The doctors give the necessary advice on patients’ health when treating them but going to have talks on their families and family matters is absurd. Minister has said that 15 percent of children suffer from diabetes due to the heavy load of work on them with tuition and lack of time to play. It is a matter our minister has to take- up with the Minister of Education.

Dr. S. D. Hapuarachchi,

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