Yesterday morning I had just finished taking bath and was getting ready for office when I happened to glance at the television screen. There was a timid looking man being interviewed by Zakka Jacob of CNN-NEWS18. He was speaking about how he had been charged Rs 15 lac by the Fortis hospital where his daughter had died of Dengue fever. A clear case of operation successful but patient dead.
I stood rooted to the spot and decided to hear out the story even though I was in a hurry to get to office where several things awaited my attention. The father of the child further stated that the hospital had refused to provide him an ambulance for transferring the child.
After the man had finished speaking, Zakka interviewed the medical adviser to Fortis hospital, Dr. Narrottam Puri, who also happens to be one of my favorite cricket commentators. He justified the hospital's exorbitant fee on the grounds that the child was on ventilator right from the day she was brought in. The medicines that were used, gloves, syringes and all the other medical apparatus cost that much.
He insisted that the hospital was following all the protocols and also said that the child, right from the time she was brought in was a case of severe organ failure. He also stated that ambulances where not provided in certain cases. Dr. Puri in all probability may be technically correct and I assume no court of law can hold the hospital guilty. But is technicality the only thing that matters? Doctors take the Hippocrates oath and hospitals are expected to do whatever it takes to help patients, rich or poor.
After listening to Dr.Puri I was reminded of another doctor, Dr Shankare Gowda fondly called the '5 rupee doctor'. Dr. Gowda is a popular doctor and he earns his sobriquet '5 rupee doctor' because of the fact that the amount he charges per consultation is a mere 5 Rs. The medicines he prescribes are also affordable. The doctor is also an agriculturist and he used to practice in Mandya but he later returned to his village. Here is a man who is devoted to selfless service.
Here is a link giving the details about Dr. Gowda.
Dr. Gowda's background
The Kalpavruksha Trust recently honored Dr Shankare Gowda with the Karnataka Kalpavruksha award. Here is the link to the article in the Times of India for this event.
Dr. Gowda felicitated
Nowadays when we enter a reputed hospital we might easily be misled to believe that it is a 5 star hotel. In this world, where we are all in a rat race to earn wealth it is heart warming to know that there are people like Dr. Gowda who are quietly living their lives by higher principles. A man who takes his Hippocrates oath seriously. Way to go Dr.Gowda!! India needs more people like you.