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PostPosted: 23 Jul 2014 14:34 
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Joined: 21 Jul 2013 13:13
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Hi friends

I had published this story in MMC1961 club about two years ago. I beg the pardon of my MMC 1961 batch friends for reproducing the same story again in this forum. This is for the sake of our new friends in TNMGC.

While I was in my second year at MMC, one of my school friends from Salem wrote me a letter telling that he was sending to me one Mr Kumaran from Payyanur in north kerala for some medical help and that he had no one to accompany him. I went to the central station and took him to my hostel. He was about fifty year old and had unsteadiness while walking. I consulted my seniors in the hostel and they advised me to show him to Dr B Ramamoorthy. neurosurgeon. Dr BRM had just returned from abroad after training in neurosurgery. Then he did not have his own ward and he had six beds for his use attached to general surgeon Prof G.Atmarama Rao.
I took Kumaran to Dr BRM next day in GH OP. He examined him for quite at length and since I was still a preclinical student I was amazingly watching his methodical examination. Then he told me that this man Kumaran had a cerebellopontine angle tumour and that surgery was the only remedy for him. When I told Kumaran about this, to my surprise he readily agreed to. Then I did not look back and admitted him. Since I was a medico all staff were very helpful realizing my man’s predicament. I used to visit him both morning and evening. On the third day or so Dr BRM called and told me that he was going to operate on him next day. You must remember that during those days we did not have many such sophisticated investigations that we have today. In his case only some blood tests and x-ray skull were done and the rest was only clinical diagnosis. When I informed Kumaran about the surgery, he took it in his stride and was fully prepared for a major procedure. Then he handed me down a cover and told me that it contained Rs 52 which he said he had with him when he came to Madras and that till that day he did not have to spend anything from it as food was supplied to him free of cost and that he did not have any other expense and asked me to keep it with me and would collect it when he went home after surgery. What a hopeful man.
Next day I was sitting outside the theatre waiting for the surgery to be over and a beaming Dr BRM came out and showed me a tumour material which he had removed from the cranium of Kumaran. What a wonderful thing. Postoperative period was uneventful and after about ten days he was ready for discharge. The ever helpful senior staff informed me that Govt. was arranging for free transport for poor patients to go home after a hospital stay. I collected the ticket and took him to the station. He occupied a seat near the window, and standing outside I handed him over the same cover containing fifty two rupees which he gave me before the surgery and he gracefully accepted it. The guard gave the whistle and train started moving and I could see tears in his eyes.
I am narrating this incident to highlight the medical profession’s dedication to the needy in those days. This man came to Madras from a faraway place with just fifty two rupees and returned home without spending a single pie out of it after getting cured of a major disease. Can any poor man in the present day think of such treatment? And that too in a premier institute by the hands of the best of neurosurgeons in the East of Suez.

UA Mohammed


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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014 11:31 
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Joined: 26 Feb 2013 10:59
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Hi Mohammed,

How the medical world is changing. From what you describe 50 years ago things are very different now, particularly in India. For the last two days newspapers are full of stories about the the nexus between the investigating labs and the doctors who send patients for tests. What a sad state of affairs.


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PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014 14:01 
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Joined: 21 Jul 2013 13:13
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Hi Badri

Now doctors don't stop with fees for consultation and interventions such as surgery. They want cut in every aspect of health care including lab procedure, pharmacy and devices like stents and implants. You remember about a week ago I had posted one newspaper link in the MMC1961 forum which gives an insight to the present state of medical profession. I reproduce one paragraph from that article for the sake of those who have not seen that item:

"Take what happened to a lawyer whose father was admitted to a 'charitable' hospital in Kochi. The doctors advised that the patient needed three drug eluting stents at Rs 95,000 per stent. Since he knew the pharma and medical devices market reasonably well, the lawyer went directly to the hospital's supplier, who offered the same stents for about Rs 40,000 each, a rate much higher than would have been charged to a bulk buyer like a hospital. But the hospital refused to use a stent bought by him. He had no option but to take the stent provided by the hospital as his father could not be shifted. After much haggling, the hospital offered to give three stents for the price of two, charging him Rs 87,000 for each. The final price of each stent, including the 'free' one, was effectively Rs 58,000"

The link to that news clipping:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 278918.cms


UA Mohammed


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