Saturday, 11 July 2009

Medicine, life and living

Health has become a business - mighty profit-making business. Once upon a time, I was captivated by medicine - especially after watching the movie 'Patch Adams': Medicine is more about improving the quality of life than delaying death. But in the last few days, I feel more will die of medicine (or lack of it) than really 'improve the quality of life'.

Last time it was our gardener, Tirupathi who had to dole out one month's salary for a night in the hospital. This time it is another person known to very many of us who has to burn not just his pockets but himself... a whooping Rs 8 lakhs!! I'm told that in one of the prestigious hospitals in the city, the starting fee is Rs 50,000. That's just the initial deposit. The fees are built on it!! I'm sure, there must be hundreds of people who must have walked out of the hospital 'happily willing to die' than even dream of pouring out so much money. In such cases when medicine and cure is simply beyond the affordable limit, the patient either is happier than before or dies then and there!! It is only the dear ones who have to live with the guilt of not being able to do anything other than see him/her slowly die. Living in such conditions is maddening!

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