Health: What do people want?
Yesterday one of my posts (reproduced below) received a barrage of protests from doctors who could not find any fault with the post per se but were angry that certain issues were being raised by a person who does not belong to the profession. They asserted they knew better on the subject though many of them could not go beyond dirty expletives. As usual attempts at character assassination and calling practitioners of other modalities quacks was an expected part of the discussion.
This is essentially the core problem facing the medical profession today. They have lost touch with ground reality. This is why I support the move that we should restructure medical education and do away with medical associations who are nothing but mouth pieces of the industry and their interests. With them should go philanthropies and international institutions who are acting as middlemen between governments and the pharmaceutical industry.
Medical education as an MP (Jairam Ramesh?) said in the Rajya Sabha should have health as the base. The first two to three years should teach the students about health and how to achieve it. In short how healthy people can be kept healthy and how those who are sick can be cured.
The excuse of disease management must go. We need doctors who can reduce the number of sick people in society, not a profession that actively adds to disease. We need doctors who can think wisely and independently, ask critical questions and act upon their own knowledge and experience instead of following industry approved protocols. We need doctors who can critically look at environmental factors causing disease, at toxicity that has enveloped society and environment, and can be at the forefront in the fight against them.
This does require courage because the very industry that manufactures "medicines" also manufactures pesticides, industrial chemicals, food additives, and daily use chemical products that are causing diseases. The "medicines" they produce have been proven to cause irreparable damage and irreversible harm by the human microbiome project and advances in the fields of epigenetics, immunotoxicity, pharmacology, cell biology, and toxicology.
People who have entered the profession of medicine should reflect whether they should listen to the members of society and mend the way their profession functions or continue to attack those who call for reforms and remind them of the oath to "first do no harm". To point out the obvious deficiencies is not a crime but the moral duty of every person in a civilized society that is witnessing never before observed epidemics of serious diseases, disabilities and cancers in all sections of society; rich, poor, children, adults and elderly. Such a situation cannot and should not be allowed to continue.
I as a victim of the system am doing my duty despite the threats and repeated character assassination. But dear doctors are you doing yours? Should you work with us or against us? The basic question you should ask every day is, why have I entered the profession? To the juniors who are yet to fathom the intense politics that is medicine, I would say grill your seniors and professors. Ask them critical questions instead of agreeing to whatever they say. Go beyond industry sponsored events, conferences, and industry designed medical curriculums. You have to find your own answers. Not only for the sake of your patients but also for your own health and that of your family members.
This is what people expect from you. Reform the system. Reform yourselves. Break down the corporate and profit seeking culture that characterizes your profession today. Return the society to its former healthy self. Be happy and make others happy.
The post that triggered the outrage.
The medical profession wants us to believe that without an extensive awareness of modern medical concepts as taught in medical colleges people are not qualified to treat patients. But how much of what is taught is actually scientific? Eminent medical researchers like Dr Richard Horton, Dr Marcia Angell and Prof John Ioannidis who have done extensive research say that about 1 to 15% of medical practices may be scientific. The rest are convenient assumptions to suit industry needs. Prior to modern medicine Vaids and Hakims used to treat us effectively. Naturopathy is as old as civilization. If you you look at medical history in India you will know how much propaganda had to be resorted to in order to destroy the medical system of those days. It would never have been possible without extensive government apathy towards those systems and effectively destroying their base.Today doctors like Dr Biswaroop Roychoudhury, Dr B M Hegde, Dr Pravin Chordia, Dr Manu Kothari and others admit that as man is a product of nature health solutions can only come from nature. They point out that growth in number of diseases and in number of patients is parallel to the growth of the medical industry thus stating very clearly that it is modern medical practice that is behind our current day chronic disease epidemics. This is known as iatrogenic or medicine induced disease. According to the modern doctors all present day diseases are idiopathic or cause unknown! To solve rural health problems all governments in the center have tried to take many steps like having a rural medicine course for rural youth like B.Sc ( Rural Health ), training the local vaids and hakims who are practicing well without licence, allowing nurses and pharmacists to practice etc. There is nothing wrong in these steps as it takes a basic knowledge of health to treat people. The more the professionalization, the more is the propensity to interfere and harm. As Dr Manu Kothari remarks, "A perfectly healthy man goes in for a medical check up and emerges as a patient!". In reality MBBS doctors who need to be provided knowledge about nutrition, lifestyle and genuine public health measures, and AYUSH doctors can do a much better job than specialists who are renowned for creating complications. Today 50 lakh people die every year in our hospitals for medical errors which is actually an underestimate. We should also try to know the number who are dying from unnecessary over prescriptions. And moreover health is not just about doctors and prescriptions - these alone can never lead to health. Health is about safe and nutritious diet, lifestyle, sanitation, hygiene, mental hygiene, avoiding toxicity, and safe eco friendly livelihoods that provide a decent workplace and decent income. Many published studies have proven this time and again. Thus now it is time to come to our senses and rectify imbalances in our society and environment. It is time to ignore what the medical industry and its associations want. What we need is health not "health care" which is an excuse to sell more drugs and devices to profit the industry. We need common sense and not expertise to return to health.