Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A significant insignificance

This is a real life story and happened in multi speciality facility hospital in Thiruvannathapuram.

It is sometime late in the morning and a gluttonous auto rickshaw stutter into the portico of the causality wing of the multi storied hospital complex. Two men scramble out and yell for the attendants. Two uniformed bearers trudge in with a push stretcher. They seem to be quite disinterested and are a bit annoyed at the two men who were yelling frantically and gesticulating into the auto rickshaw. Perhaps the arrival of an auto rickshaw was less fascinating than a chauffeur driven Mercedes .The vehicles that shuttles in the victim or let us say the patient is the frontrunner- the harbinger of the revenue that could be extracted.

A young woman in her mid twenties is carried out of the auto rick and laid on the stretcher. And they suddenly notice the emergent situation and rush the trolley carrying the woman into the causality ward.

The woman apparently attempted to kill herself and failed. She tried to hang to death and was noticed in time and brought to the hospital. Fortunately or unfortunately for her there was some life left in her. The trachea was not severed, and also strangulation has not completely wiped out the air from her lungs. The duty doctors were quite efficient in attending her. The oxygen mask was quickly put on her face the necessary initial aid was quickly administered. The supervisor of the casualty asked the men to deposit an advance amount at the cash counter. The men were quite lost and pleaded they did not have money .The Supervisor immediately summoned another middle aged man who went to the woman lying in fight with death .She was being resuscitated and all medical procedures were being exercised.

The guy was the official gold smith of the hospital. Ever heard of such a position in a hospital?Well he took a good look at the trinkets the woman had on her. He then started to remove them from her person, and went to the cubicle placed in one corner. He closely examined them, a tiny gold chain, and a thin bangle. He began the test to see if the pieces were real.

He made a light scratch on the pieces of jewellery with a small file. Using a dropper, he applied a drop of nitric acid on the scratch he made on the jewellery. He confirmed that the pieces did not turn green, or milky. That ensured that he was dealing with gold and not any base material.He swiftly weighed the jewellery and went out to the supervisor and confirmed the value .This was the way the hospital ensured that treatment to the needy is not denied. They have the facility to either pawn your jewellery to raise money to pay the medical bills or even mortgage your property documents.

The only catch is that if you go there in full consciousness or comatose you must have gold on you or unencumbered documents of intangible assets.

This story was narrated by a friend who has close access to hospitals and is fairly privy to the functioning and administration of some. Infertility being a very grave and serious issue amongst the current generation, infertility clinics are having a gay of a time.

The young doctor graduated from Mumbai and did his masters at the AIIMs New Delhi. He was working in a super speciality hospital in Mumbai, before settling down in central Kerala, where he hailed from. The new job at the infertility clinic was quite to his liking. The hospital had a very liberal and strong clientele of expatriates from the gulf.

However his sojourn there did not last more than ten months. To his indignation he found that he had to acquiesce the management’s way of “fertilizing”. The management wanted to ensure without any demure that every couple who venture to the clinic go back satisfied that infertility is cured. And the woman have conceived. The clinic was well known for the magic treatment even in cases of absolute irreversible male infertility. The conception rate of infertile couples who venture to the clinic is an amazing percent. Our Mumbai returned doctor only had to endorse the modus operandi. And that was, the sperm of the male was invariably substituted, however in total secrecy with only the clinic management privy to the mala fide.

Couples are happy that their irreversible infertile status is reversed and their dreams come alive. The clinic has its revenue swelling.


Balachandran V said...

Whether it is birth or death, what counts is money.

Are you sure of the authenticity of the first story? It may be true in a private hospital, but not so in a govt. hospital. It should be made mandatory that even private hospital keep aside a share of their huge profits for charitable assistance.

anilkurup said...

@ Bals

Yes , it is at a private hospital in TVM with quite substantial NRI holdings. This was narrated to me by the very person who was there and saw the drama, and he is a doc too , but on his own .

kaalpanique said...

this is shocking.. but then again. why do these things shock us.. in todays world its to be expected! i was particulary saddened with the second story.. i dont know if its disgusting or saddening... to exploit the emotions of unwary patients... this story must come out in the open. I would like to share ure blog page. if you don't mind.

dr.antony said...

I can easily believe these stories and more.
I had worked in a rural hospital long time back when I started my career..The hospital was located in the high ranges, and we often used to get patients with snake bites. The unfortunate ones used to be the poor laborers working in plantations near the forest areas. A course of antivenin would cost about two thousand rupees those days. On the verge of death, they used to be brought in in dilapidated jeeps and left at the casualty. No one would be there to pay the bills. Often the ones who were genuinely bit would be dead on the way, because most of the hospitals on the way would not accept them, because they had no anti venom in stock. It took me time to learn that these hospitals purposely wouldn’t stock the medicine, for the simple reason that they wouldn’t get the money back. Ours was a hospital run by some nun sisters, and we were the only hospital in an area of about hundred kilometers that had the medicine. We never refused treatment for them, only because of the good will of the sisters. I thankfully remember them now.
When I was a medical student at Trivandrum, we would get agents at the hostel asking for supply of semen from medical students. Those days, the offer of hundred rupees was luring. There was a hospital near our hostel which was famous for infertility treatment. Like Anil said, even the worst case of male infertility would be simply sorted out by this doctor. The rumor is that there are dozens of boys in Trivandrum who looks like the doctor himself. The boy would come to the hostel only if the doctor was too tired to manage it himself!
Like I had written once, hospital is an industry now. It no longer keeps any different principles than any other business. There are doctors who accept fees from colleagues and their families. There are doctors who do scans on dead bodies, it is said. There are hospitals that had refused to release dead bodies, for lack of payment.
It is a weird world. Anything can happen. Nothing surprises me.

sm said...

thanks for sharing story
its good that they did not throw them away as it happens in hospitals.

anilkurup said...

@ kaalpanique,

The old timers say " kalikalam".
But I guess that such things have happened since the dawn of man. Only that we have means to hear about such acts more often and speedily. As you said nothing to be surprised about.
I do not mind you sharing this Blog page.
There are further stories a doc told me which would send you spinning to space.

anilkurup said...

@ doc antony,
You are privy to many such and worse acts. And may not be shocking to you , not in the least.
The snake venom story is distressing.
My question is that when there are many other professions and businesses
that will fetch far greater returns than the medical profession why , why?

anilkurup said...

@ sm,

Thanks fiend for the comment.
Yes in the first case thankfully the attention was given.

dr.antony said...

The answer is simple.To say that your son or daughter is a doctor.Status,style,alliances,and then a guaranteed income.But I still don't understand the economics of this investment.
Then, another group who have sheer inferiority complex.All the nurses who are working with me,have one of their children,either doing or completed medicine.It is their life time earnings,still.
On the other side,there is no easier way to make money,if one chooses to take that path.Recently,I had referred a friend of mine to a Neurologist at Trivandrum, who was known to me as well.His problem was simple dizziness.But I had to refer him because he was troubling me and eating my head.The doctor simply ordered an MRI and MR Angio, which cost him 13500 rupees.Out of this,I know for sure, at least 6 thousand would go to the doctor.You have seen the crowd at Cosmo.What if the doctor orders the same kind of tests to at least ten patients a day?

Sukanya said...

Shocked to read the fact.
Hospital are running against medical ethics.

Insignia said...

Infertility clinics are minting money at such fast rate. Now every other lady seems to be having this issue.

The first story. I am appalled. At least they did "gold-checking" before throwing her out

anilkurup said...

@ sukanya,
Ethics? What is that in medical profession , let alone in general?

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia,

When you invest , it is only fair to expect good returns. So the medical profession is also a lucrative venture to earn. So let us forget the rest. Money and money , at the cost what ever!!