A few months ago, one of my relatives was rushed to the nearest cardiac clinic. He was perspiring and had acute and indescribable pain. He had nausea and had no strength to stand. After the customary ECG and BP measurement, the specialist prescribed a battery of tests. There was admitted at 7am. The young doctor on duty called a cardiologist who was on call. After the no hassle as the clinic was well equipped. Cardiologist wanted a Doppler test to be done; there was no hurry. After some medication the patient slept well.
I looked at the entries made. I felt that one of the drugs prescribed was anti-diabetic. By the time the cardiologist had left. I wanted to make sure that the drugs given were appropriate. I checked with the young doctor who admitted him. He could not explain why those drugs were given to the patient. “Come after an hour”, He said “then I shall explain”, He was not busy. I realized that he did not know how to explain! He was going to ask someone else.
My antenna was up! Seeing my friendly approach, he told me that I should have asked the specialist. His duty was to look after the patients during the night. If there is any distress, he will telephone the cardiologist on call. He is working in the clinic for a pittance (a few thousand rupees) to get the mandatory clinical experience. He has just completed his bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda. After six months experience, he can go back to his village and practice allopathy! I wish what I heard is not true. I was shocked to see that other “doctors” on night duty were also Ayurveda degree holders! I hope this may be further probed by some channel journalists
Among the “nurses” only one who gave injections appeared to be qualified. Others had some experience; they worked in clinic in Dadar. None had formal nursing training. They had nurse’s uniform!
On further consultation with other specialists and a good cardiologist we found that the patient had stones in the gall bladder! Once the correct diagnosis was done, the patient had similar pain over twenty years ago.
Whenever I go near a Cardiac Clinic in Mumbai/Navi Mumbai, my heart goes to the patients in rural Maharashtra. I think of the many young “specialists”, some of them possibly practice cardiology.