Thursday, March 23, 2017

Housemen training

Provide basic needs for gruesome training

I refer to the letter “Long hours of ‘tagging’ must change with the times” {The Star 20 March}.

Of late there has been a lot adverse comments expressed on medical housemen training in our government hospitals. As a senior doctor I am compelled to give my input on this important issue. I tend to agree with Contract Doctor that many things are not so happy for the housemen doctors today. In fact the housemanship period had always been a very difficult time for those joining the fraternity at the lowest level of the medical hierarchy. This is more so today when the medical profession has become highly commercialized and doctors churned out in large numbers with poor screening for their aptitude and qualification.

The problem must be looked at objectively and addressed instead of blaming the housemen, their parents or the senior doctors and specialists training them. There little to gain by condemning the long hours of working for housemen as it is here to stay. It is a time-tested system and as has produced some great doctors later in life. The grueling long working hours is essential in the training of doctors to instill the discipline, responsibility, skills and the art of managing a patient which is often very difficult as there is never a text-book patient with a text-book illness.

What is needed in this gruesome training of housemen is proper guidance by the senior doctors and a little assistance from the administrators to make it more conducive to the young doctors to weather the storm. They must be made to feel at “home” and comfortable in their first ever working environment. Their basic needs have to be provided like they used to be before – reasonable food, time and place to rest and freshen up, better facilities for accommodation and leave as entitled. We must not forget that these young doctors in their mid-twenties, in a stressful life today, also need time for rest, recreation and exercise, as 2 years of housemanship is a very long time.

What has happened to the situation where houses officers were expected to stay in and provided with quarters within the hospital premises? I know for certain that besides working long hours without proper break for rest and meals, most of them are forced to stay outside as hostel facilities are not enough to accommodate the large number of housemen. Staying together in housemen quarters not only enable them to be there at all times but also helps to build the spirit of comradeship among them which goes a long way to building the team spirit and offer moral support for one another. Sadly today this facility is not available supposedly due to lack of funds. In some hospitals even food and proper restrooms are not provided for the housemen on call.

As Contract Doctor says the majority of housemen chose their path out of love for their job. The authorities must encourage them and not make them hate what they have set out to do. Specialists and super-specialists doctors do not fall from the sky but come from our young and inexperienced house officers today with all their short coming. Unless we set them on the right path by proper guidance now the future of medical care for the people will be doomed especially now when over-commercialization is disrupting the professionalism in the healthcare industry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dinosaur Doctor Penang                                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Goodbye Jagroop Singh

Tribute to a dear friend

  Jagroop Singh Bhattal                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1954 -2017

We became friends in 1960 at a tender age of 7 when we were admitted to standard 1 in SYS.
We did not know each other but we were comfortable to study, play, do mischief together and at times even fight each other. Despite the competition among us we did not harbour any grudge or hatred as we had in us what every child has – innocence.

This friendship developed as we grew together till the age of seventeen when we had to part ways. We followed own paths pursuing our careers in our own ways, losing contact for many years. We succeeded to build own careers and own families as we journey through life.

When we met after many years we were all so different physically and mentally but remained united with the common interests of our childhood. After those long years Jagroop was still our dear old friend. He was friendly, humble and obliging even when he was ill and knew that the end was near.

We continued to build our friendship that was suspended for over 40 years. Unfortunately God decided we should once again part and this time for good. It is a painful separation unlike the one 45 years ago. It pains to recall the good old days in BG but we will continue to cherish those memories in our hearts till we meet again one day.

Jagroop may have left us but his memories are still very much alive in our hearts. Every time we pass Taiping we remember this good friend who was always eager and happy to have us stop by at his home for some capati prepared by his wonderful wife.

With heavy hearts we bid farewell to a dear friend, who valued our friendship so much till the end.

Goodbye dear Jagroop Singh Bhattal  

 Rest in peace

From your classmates of SYS 1970                                                                                                                                                                   7 January 2017


Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year 2017

Guilty shame no more
As we come the close of 2016, it may be relevant for us to reflect on the events of the year and their implications on our lives so as to make us better prepared for the coming year.

At the beginning of this year I wrote about the gloom that had engulfed our nation due to the “Cash is King” phenomenon that has taken control of our country. I expressed great disappointment that corruption has become rampant and blatant in our country especially at the highest level. This was illustrated by the 1MDB scandal that had shaken the very core of our economic and democratic system of governance. I ended by asking whether there was still hope for cure.

As we step foot into 2017, the problems of the 1MDB is yet to be solved. In fact it had become more complex and entrenched with no end in sight. It had led to another phenomenon where shame has become alien to our culture. Despite being guilty of wrong doing there is no feeling of shame by the wrong doer. In fact today the corrupt with right connections walks with their heads high despite being proven, whereas those who speak out against the wrong doers are being punished. 

In any society shame is a deterrent to wrong doing but today sadly that shame is slowly fading, being replaced with arrogance and blatant abuse of power to hide all wrong doings. What has gone wrong with our culture that we held in high esteem? Why have people become shameless despite been proven guilty?

Major corruption and abuse of power appears to be invisible and continue into the New Year. Our hopes are fading as even rights groups outside seem to slowly give up hope. To make matters worse many of our friends and relatives have given up and are leaving for greener pastures elsewhere. Will emigrating solve our problems?

We must realize that only we and we alone can stop the rot that is destroying our beloved nation which we toiled to build. The silent majority must wake up and stand to be countered not run away in defeat. Our fate depends on the silent majority and we just hope and pray they wake up to make the right choice come the 14GE.

Meanwhile the opposition must put aside their ego and differences to unite behind a capable leader who is committed to fight for the good of all regardless of race and creed. Time is running out and more they delay the lesser the chance of succeeding as the ‘enemy’ is strong, rich and powerful whose might we cannot match.

Happy New Year  

Housemen training

Provide basic needs for gruesome training I refer to the letter “ Long hours of ‘tagging’ must change with the times” {The Star 20 ...