Amir Khan’s Show: Horrid Healthcare

I had watched the first two episodes of Amir Khan’s ‘Satyamev Jayate’ though presently in Cary, North Carolina, US, courtesy Internet and U-tube. I was really impressed by Gen-Y young Indians- men and women. They are really bold to share their horrific personal experiences in public that the people of our generation would have not done. I got to the third episode on dowry menace through automatic recording of the programme by Anand. But I watched the fourth one on healthcare live at 10 PM yesterday night. The information pained me. It must be tallying with personal experience of every citizen of the country who has the misfortune to get into such trap. I am also one such person.

But the most impressive information that enriched my knowledge was about the generic medicine and how the doctors are colluding with medicine manufacturers and sucking or even killing the common persons. In the programme, Dr. Samit Sharma from Rajasthan talked about his endeavour to get the cheap generic medicines available for people at very cheap cost by prescribing generic names in prescription rather than the branded one. The Rajasthan government has set up shops selling generic medicines across the state in an effort to make good quality medicines available to people at the lowest possible rates. I shall quote just the example of one medicine from Amir’s article in Hindustan Times, though it has mentions of some more:

“When a student sits for his/her MBBS exams and is asked to name the drug that is to be prescribed for a patient suffering from diabetes, he might write ‘glimeperide’. This is the salt commonly used to treat diabetes. When that same student becomes a doctor and a patient suffering from diabetes comes to him for treatment, he might prescribe the medicine Amaryl. So is that young doctor giving the wrong medication? No. Amaryl happens to be one of the brand names by which the salt ‘glimeperide’ is sold. So what is the difference between the two, apart from the names? Well, a strip of 10 tablets of Amaryl costs around Rs. 125, and a strip of 10 tablets of the salt ‘glimeperide’ costs Rs. 2. Both are essentially the same thing. We pay approximately Rs. 123 more for the brand name.” (Please follow the link read the article and watch the u-tube too, if not difficult.)

I wish the people at large will request the doctor to prescribe the generic medicines. At least, I am going to ask my doctor on my return from USA, as between two of us in family we consume medicines costing about Rs 4000 a month. I shall also ask the doctors in the extended family if they also are practising the same sins.

Interestingly, I came to know from Anand and Shannon that the situation is same in USA too.

Another pleasant surprise came from Dr, Devi Shetty who was on the show. I had met Dr. Devi Shetty in HM days. He was heading BM Birla Heart Hospital in Calcutta. The information that Dr. Shetty provided on Amir show made me ask a simple question: When the contribution of Rs 10 a month by a person can cover the healthcare insurance in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with the government support of a contribution of Rs 30 to those persons, why can’t the same be emulated by the governments of other states such as UP, Bihar and Orissa, or for that matter by West Bengal? Why can’t the doctors of these states come out to help the teeming million with the serious healthcare troubles taking some lessons from Setty?

I wish the social activists such as Anna, Aruna, Arundhanti Roy and Kejriwal would have worked on these issues of healthcare that is horribly anti-people. Can the enlightened one in the society rise against the devils among the doctors?


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