Say no to politics in health care matters

62-Kokilaben-Dhirubhai-Ambani (Representative image) The neonatal intensive care unit at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai | Amey Mansabdar

Open Letter to Delhi CM on cancelling Max Hospital's licence

Dear Shrimaan Kejriwal ji,

A branch of the Max Hospital in Delhi had its licence withdrawn by the AAP government following the case of shocking negligence on the part of doctors who declared a living infant dead and handed the 'body' to the parents. The baby later stirred and received medical attention but was too feeble to pull through. How can you, or anyone, justify cancellation of the hospital's licence for the negligence of a lone doctor? 

In a country where medical services are woefully inadequate, should a massive facility be shut down for a terrible goof up of some doctors in making basic medical judgment, that a precious life was lost? What about the resulting hardships of the in-patients, and the deprival of medical help to tens of thousands of people living in the vicinity of the hospital? Again, would you shut down the entire public transport system for the negligence of a lone bus driver? Such basic questions are irrelevant when the motivation is crude populism.

Given that we have barely two hospital beds per 1,000 people compared to the WHO's recommended standard of five beds per 1,000 population, shutting down hospitals is not the way to resolve our problems with the health care system. Opening new hospitals, both in the public and private sectors, with strict controls on pricing and quality of health care is the only way out. Please sir, there should be no politics in matters of public health.

J.S. Acharya


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