Frontliners Speak- Two Doctors Share Their Experiences of Serving During The Lockdown

Due to the wish of the two doctors interviewed for the campaign to remain anonymous, we will not be disclosing their identity in this piece. However, we would like to thank them for sharing their experiences with us. We at Roads2Future salute them for their tremendous efforts for the country.

Professional Background: Of the two doctors interviewed, one is an Orthopaedic Specialist and the other is a Wholesale Pharmacist.

What has your experience of serving in this lockdown been like?

The experience of serving humanity in this lockdown has been both sad and happy. Sad moments come when we, even after putting lots of efforts and blood and sweat, are not able to save patients from death. People are dying on the streets, on hospital beds, outside hospitals in rural areas, in slums of Mumbai, all over the world for that matter, and even in this 21st century the so-called developed nations are not able to do anything about this. Somewhere in the journey, we have taken the human and animal lives way more easily and have not invested enough in healthcare sector.

Happy moments come when we see patients recovering and leaving the hospitals with a big smile on their faces. The children are waiting for their dads to come back, the wife is waiting her husband to come out of hospital, the parents are waiting for their children to live a bit more. We truly jumped with happiness when we saw an old person in Baroda hospital fully recovered saying “**** you COVID”.

“Such moments are less but yes these moments give us the hope to keep fighting”.

What’s your one key takeaway from this entire experience?

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One of the major reasons why the entire world has failed to prevent any major outbreak even with such advanced technologies like AI is the true investment in healthcare sector. Either the investment is being done only by a handful of organizations and nations or the investment is just for the namesake. We pay footballers like Ronaldo and Messi in billions of dollars but pay in peanuts to scientists, healthcare workers, paramedics and nurses across the globe. Where are Ronaldo and Messi now? Can you see them? Who all are fighting now at the forefront?

We are way behind where we should have been in the healthcare sector. Poor countries are the worst hit. The stronger and developed nations should together create a universal bank, very similar to world bank, to fund the research and studies in the healthcare sector.

Conditions in India are not better either. The major hospitals are overburdened with work. WE are short of kits, medicines, beds and support from the govt. The time has come for a public – private partnership in the healthcare sector. The private can focus on the urban area while the public sector can focus on the rural India. This is a mission we are failing at miserably.

According to you should healthcare education be included in MBA/graduation colleges as part of curriculum and even at the school level?

Healthcare studies must be included in the curriculum at all levels like primary education, secondary education and even an MBA. Today managers need to get a holistic view of any situation to make the right decisions. Most of the businessmen are negligent towards such pandemic. Like sex education, primary knowledge in the healthcare sector is vital for people today.

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Managers can act as a bridge between the government healthcare bodies and the private sector, thus better-facilitating healthcare programs and projects of the govt. ITC, HUL, Pepsico, Lays, Zomato have a strong presence in rural India and good relationships with their farmer community. Such companies can be at the forefront of driving change in rural India.

And guess what? These changes can only be brought when managers understand the working of the healthcare sector. Another sector directly impacted by such pandemics is the hotel sector. Healthcare studies must be included in Hotel management.

This interview has been covered by Sidhant Satapathy on behalf of Roads2Future

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