Most complaints against doctors relates to their Attitude, Behavour and not Competence


 Most complaints against doctors relates to
their Attitude, Behavour and not Competence

Zero tolerance for indiscipline, unethical medical practice and
violent behaviour will help maintain peaceful working
environment at medical institutions, healthcare facilities

LAHORE: There has been an overall deterioration in moral values in the society which has its impact on everything. However, medicine is a profession which has its own norm, callings and requirements and those entering this profession must realize its importance.  Most complaints against the healthcare professionals in general and doctors in particular relate to their attitude and behavour rather than their competence.  It is extremely painful to see that the premier medical institutions of the sub-continent like King Edward Medical College now upgraded as University and its affiliated Mayo Hospital remains in the news all the time not for anything good but getting negative publicity all the time. The attitude of the young doctors in particular is bringing a bad name to the entire medical profession further lowering its dignity and respect in the public which is already at its lowest ebb these days for various reasons. Saner elements in the medical profession must come forward to restore the dignity and respect of this profession which it used to enjoy in good old days.

Authorities now seem to have decided to ensure zero tolerance for indiscipline and violent behavour and it has immediately implemented the recommendations of the committee which included eminent medical personalities like Prof. Major Gen.M.Aslam Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences and Prof. Eice Mohammad a member of the PM&DC who has also served as Principal at numerous public and private medical colleges. Their professional and intellectual integrity is unquestionable.  This committee was formed after the recent unfortunate incidents wherein some junior doctors were alleged to have thrashed the attendant of a patient. The committee had recommended action against the doctors involved, nurse and a Deputy Medical Superintendent who failed to perform its duty. A letter of displeasure has also been issued to the Professor in-charge of the Ward where this incident occurred.   Violent incidents involving junior doctors and other healthcare professionals has now become almost a routine at Mayo Hospital. Enough should be considered enough and the authorities must act and ensure discipline and peaceful working environment for the healthcare professionals so that they can work with devotion and dedication. Such acts of violence and indiscipline also affect the patient care besides bringing a bad name to the institution and the medical profession at large.

It appears that apart from marks in the FSc examination and entry test, those who wish to get admission into medical and dental colleges should also go through a test by psychologists to determine whether they have the temperament to join this field. In many countries overseas, those who are desirous of getting admission in medical colleges are asked to work at some designated hospitals for a week to see the working conditions and environment before making the final decision. It has worked and many of them eventually change their mind and opt for some other fields. May be we in Pakistan also need to introduce some of these measures. In medicine one deal with the ailing humanity and keeping up professional ethics is of utmost importance.  Un-professional behaviour should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Society at large and the medical profession in particular must support government efforts to enforce discipline, ensure peace at academic institutions and healthcare facilities instead of being silent spectators. However, it is also essential that action must be taken against all those who indulge in un-professional behaviour without any exception. Earlier some junior doctors had misbehaved with a senior professor, locked him in his room and despite resolution by the academic council, authorities failed to take any action. Had some action been taken at that time, unpleasant incidents which occurred later might have been prevented.

Punjab Healthcare Commission should also be strengthened and its efforts to ensure minimum standards of healthcare should get support from all sections of the society including the medical profession itself because it is in their own interest.  Unfortunately in the past when it took some actions against quacks, they went to the courts and it has adversely affected its campaign against the menace of quackery. If all the healthcare facilities get themselves registered with the Commission, it will ensure that no action is taken against any healthcare professional without the consent of the Commission which will first investigate all such cases professionally.