• Avani Sood

Doctors in India are fighting to save their lives

"Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity. ”

― Hippocrates

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, several cases of violence against doctors have been reported across the country. The recent cases where doctors were violently beaten up by a mob in Assam, Delhi, and other parts of India, have shaken up netizens.

This Virus is still relatively new to all of us, and the work healthcare professionals are carrying out and the effort they are putting in to support everyone during these testing times is truly astounding and commendable. However, there are times where and when they fail because at the end of the day there is always a certain limit to which they can control and help us, after which it is not anyone’s fault. Nonetheless, some people have still not apprehended this fact and have taken out gross ways to portray their discontentment with doctors due to instances that were beyond their control.

The “ #IStandWithDoctors” is a movement to condemn the aforesaid issue which is on the rise. Our Doctors have proved to us time and again that their primary aim and purpose is to serve us and aid us. As citizens of this vast nation, we must respect such noble individuals who give up their own lives to save yours, who work relentlessly, neglect their health at times to assist us.

With the increasing reports of violence against doctors, the main source of stress for doctors was fear of violence, followed by fear of being sued. 62% of doctors who answered a survey reported that they were unable to see their patients without any fear of violence, and 57% had considered hiring security staff at their workplace. When healthcare workers were assaulted, they frequently resorted to peaceful strikes, which sometimes included termination of the ward and emergency services. During such protests, it was not uncommon for the public to attack the protesters.

The Indian Medical Association has reported that 75% of doctors face verbal or physical abuse in hospital premises and fear of violence was the most common cause for stress for 43% of doctors. The highest number of violence was reported at the point of emergency care and 70% of the cases of violence were initiated by the patient's relatives.

WHO listed India as one of the Top nations where doctors are disrespected.

We lost more doctors in recent years than soldiers.

In the last two months, nearly ten doctors have reportedly died by suicide in different institutions across the country. Most of them were younger than 30 years. The latest addition to this unfortunate list was Mohit Singhla, a research officer in the pediatrics department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi – the third doctor to have died thus at this hospital in this period.

Suicide among doctors is a complex, multi-factorial issue that has been plaguing the country for decades now. Studies from across the world indicate that suicide rates among doctors are higher than in the general population. According to the 2019 World Health Statistics, there are 10.6 suicides per one lakh people every year, although in India there are 16.3. And while studies that compare suicide rates among doctors with that of the general population in India are lacking, “there is no reason why it should be any different,” Soumitra Pathare, director of the Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, Pune, told The Wire Science.

Doctors experience high levels of work stress even under normal circumstances, but many would be reluctant to disclose mental health difficulties or seek help for them, with stigma an often-cited reason. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis places additional pressure on doctors and the healthcare system in general and research shows that such pressure brings a greater risk of psychological distress for doctors.

Put yourselves in THEIR SHOES!

Do you assume it’s easy for them to see their patients pass away?

Do you assume it’s easy for them to see their year/month/week-long efforts fail?

Feeling upset, hopeless, and frustrated after a loved one’s death is without a doubt the toughest thing an individual has to go through, but does this give you the right to attack the same people who fought to save them?

Think about it!

A doctor’s life purpose is to ensure all their patients stand upright as healthy as they can be, but at the end of the day, there is only so much they can do, sometimes it’s not in their hands, and blaming them for that is downright outrageous and immoral. As citizens and humans beings we must realize how necessary it is to bring this issue up. Dealing with death is difficult, no matter what the circumstances are, they did their part and did it well now we must do our part by supporting them and showing them our gratitude for all those hours they stayed away from their families so you could be with yours, for all those nights they didn’t sleep so your loved one and you could sleep without fear.

We at simply GenZ stand with doctors, we stand with life saviors and we stand with all those who dedicate their life to serving humanity.

“In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men.”― Cicero

Writer - Hrishita Dev

Graphics - Vaishnavi Bhojane