Hypocrisy before Hippocrates
The Pethsan Athsan DoctorsJune 29, 2012, 7:48 pm
They are not doctors; they are furniture dealers. Their business is the sale of beds in their wards in government hospitals - the late Dr. S. A Wickremasinghe, MP for Akuressa, speaking in Parliament, opposing the move to allow private practice to medical specialists a few decades ago.
"The doctors are very busy signing….
"You mean prescriptions?"
"Is it medical certificates?"
"No a petition, they want to help reach a target of signatures"
"What is the petition for?"
"The petition against a private medical college at Malabe."
"Why are they opposed to it?"
"The signing-away doctors think it is not good for the medical profession and will also lead to destruction of free education."
"Is opposing private medical institutions against any part of the Hippocratic Oath?"
"Do you know whether these Pethsan Athsan Doctors or Petition Signatory Doctors know what the Hippocratic Oath is, or who on earth Hippocrates was?"
"That is an interesting question - but isn’t there another angle to all of this?"
"Why don’t these doctors think of signing a petition to improve the health services in the country - I mean the free health service that we boast of so much?"
"What do you think they should ask for - do you mean better salaries, bigger duty free cars, free internet and on-line consultation facilities in government hospitals….?"
"Well, why not, if these will help improve the health services? But what I thought of is a petition to ensure that sufficient stocks of essential drugs are found in all hospitals…
"Yeah, that seems important….despite every minister talking of how the hospital pharmacies will be fully stocked."
"That is not all….
"What more can they ask?"
"To ensure that the pathology laboratories in every state hospital do their work, without outsourcing every possible clinical test to the private laboratories that are springing up like mushrooms around what are considered the best government hospitals."
"You think these Pethsan Athsan Doctors or PADs don’t know about the shortage of drugs in hospitals or the huge racket going on in outsourcing path-lab work to private labs?"
"The question is how interested they are in improving the State Health Service, to bother about such things; the issues that really matter to patients and the public."
"But aren’t they against a private medical college to safeguard the medical profession, by which one would mean protect and improve the health services? Are these not areas of improvement that they must bother about?"
"I think it all depends on what they think of as improvement in the health services."
"Now what do you mean by that?"
"Who knows they may be thinking that improvement of the health services is actually the improvement of the private sector in health, beginning with private practice."
"Why should they think so?"
"Well, because they are educated enough under the free education they are signing on to protect, to know that we are now in a society that gives huge importance to the private sector. If it is good for tourism and questionable investment in the banking sector; why not for medicine and health?"
"Do you mean they are really concerned about the good health of the private health services that are rapidly expanding, than in the ever ailing public health sector?"
"Well your guess may be as good as mine. But, we hardly read of doctors signing petitions or even threatening trade union action to actually improve the national "free" health services that politicians boast of so much."
"OK, but what about this interest in protecting free education? What is it that these Pethsan Athsan Doctors really cherish about free education?"
"Simple isn’t it? They have gone to medical school through free education. So why not fight to preserve it?’
"Sounds very good; but how many of these doctors would have entered medical school without attending private tuition classes?"
"You mean having private tutors like in the old days?"
"No, I don’t mean that. I mean private tuition classes from which politicians who now direct education and oversee it too, made all their profits before entering politics. I mean the private tuition where huge charges are made for packed classes. Is this the "free education, they want to preserve for future generations, too?"
"Interesting, why not ask these Pethsan Athsan Doctors, to first declare that they have never attended a tuition class, before entering medical school? That would really qualify them to fight for free education, even the phony, costly farce that we have now."
‘Don’t you think all this Pethsan Athsan approach on private medical education, is a means of keeping the medical profession as tightly closed as possible; preventing entry by those who have are equally or better qualified elsewhere?"
"You mean it is a monopolistic approach by doctors who think the medical profession should be shut out to private educated doctors, however good they may be?"
"Yeah, it sounds very strange when it comes from those who don’t oppose private medical practice, will not hesitate to send their own children for education abroad, when necessary. Those who clamour to go abroad for post-graduate qualifications, often in private institutions, and never speak a word about proper regulation of the private health services in the country."
"Well it looks like the main problem lies with Hippocrates.’
"What do you mean? This fight for fake free education is not part of the Hippocratic Oath, which is about healing of people."
"You are absolutely right. Sorry for the pun; it is just that they have confused Hippocrates for hypocrisy.
"You mean Medical Hypocrisy - which stands for insincerity, double-standards, pretense, duplicity…and all such meanings."
"You got it right. That’s what made me recall the words of Dr. SA Wickremasinghe, which holds true today as it did we he said it.
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Last Updated May 18 2013 | 05:06 pm