New Delhi: XX August 2018: As per a survey carried out among several doctors and patients by the Indian Medical Association and the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), it was found that both the segments are unhappy and dissatisfied. The doctor-patient relationship is dying today and needs a CPR for revival. The need of the hour is to create awareness that this relationship is revivable just as it is possible to save a dying person with CPR.
There has been a paradigm change in the thinking of the public and a corresponding shift in the dynamics of doctor-patient relationship; from paternalism to patient-centric. Today, patients want to be equal partners in decisions about their treatment with the doctor acting as a guide and facilitate decision making. Patient autonomy is also now at the forefront of the principles of medical ethics.
Giving his views on this at a TedX session, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “I am a professional medical doctor, and this makes me accountable to a code of conduct. To practice medical science, I need to be different and for which reason, I am allowed to write doctor in front of my name. My job is to help and work in the interest of the patient. People look upon me as someone who will not harm but cure them. However, the case is different today. In a survey, the doctors said they are not happy with incidences of violence against them on the rise. Patients on the other hand felt that doctors do not communicate with them. This discord has seen an increase in the last few decades: due to lack of communication on the doctors’ part and lack of trust on the patients’ side.”
There are four kinds of patients: ignorant (not aware of any disease, 100% trust in doctors); informed patients (aware of diseases and their rights); empowered (more aware); and enlightened (question the doctor). Doctors are also of three kinds: those who do not wish to be questioned; those who give choices to patients; and those who spend time with them in assessing the condition and acting accordingly.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Patients are more informed today, but doctors are still in the past. Miscommunication is therefore the number one cause of discord. As per the Bhagavad Gita, the primary reason for anger is the unfulfillment of aspirations and expectations. When a patient is not satisfied, he/she gets angry and abuses. As Krishna did for Arjuna, so should a doctor do for the patient. Listen to what the patient has to say about his illness, his concerns and then respond accordingly. Don’t be judgmental or critical if the patient slips up at times. Stay calm and patiently explain to him the necessity of compliance to treatment prescribed. This way the patient is reassured and will be more inclined to follow your instructions; he will come back to you instead of seeking a second opinion.”
Patients also have the responsibility of caring for doctors and following what they prescribe. Avoid preventable disorders and let doctors handle only medical emergencies. Help doctors ensure good health by following the health tips they give. This 15th August, it is time to aim for Independence from the doctor-patient disputes.
Some health sutras from HCFI
- High blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol can remain silent for up to a decade.
- A pulse rate of less than 60 or more than 100 is abnormal.
- Weight loss of 10 kg can reduce upper blood pressure by 5-20 mmHg.
- Restricting salt intake to less than 6gm per day can reduce upper blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg.
- A 1% increase in cholesterol increases chances of heart attack by 2%.
- A 1% increase in good HDL cholesterol decreases chances of heart attack by 3%.
- Any chest pain, which lasts for less than 30 minutes duration is not a heart pain.
- Keep air pollution (particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels) below 80 µg per cubic meter
- To revive a cardiac arrest victim, compress the center of the chest of the victimwithin 10 minutes of death (earlier the better) at least for the next 10 minutes (longer the better), with a speed of at least 10×10=100 per minute.