Pan it out and the issue appears so fundamental to individual and authority
INKSIGHT BY MEHMOOD UR RASHID
THE issue of placing a ban on doctors practicing at private clinics is too little a thing for a people witnessing most uncertain times. Threatening times, in fact. When the question of existence stares right in the face, with all ferocity; when power, in all its nakedness, breaks into the most private spaces of the collective life; and when an entire population, a nation, is projected as a criminal posing threat – discussing, let us say health, is a luxury if not perversion. To the administration that suddenly appears so active towards what they presume is public good one little sentence, may be two. Sitting in their chairs how humane and efficient are they towards a common man! At lease our doctors treat bodies. And how active are they when law and discretion is used to devastate the life of a teenager! At least doctors don’t do that.
Joining the debate over this issue that does sound like a distraction may be a compulsion, or giving into the complexity of life, or may be both; Whatever, we can zoom out and talk the larger picture.
Can a professional work for two organizations and benefit monetarily from both. Or can a professional offer his services to an employer on a permanent basis, with a fixed timing for the day, and at the same time utilize his professional expertise in an individual capacity beyond the hours fixed with his employer.
How can the borders of duties and rights not be redrawn in a time when even the physical borders are under a flux given the impact a new economy has made on the world. How can the grand subjects of order and anarchy not be revisited in a time when sovereignty, state, citizenship, employment, benefits, securities, and even leisure is getting reframed. Just imagine for a while that one of the most powerful institutions post Nation State, Passport, unbecomes in certain ways; how difficult it would become for the employers like the J&K state government to retain human resource. Add to it that if travel becomes significantly faster and cheaper, and schooling attains some globally acceptable standards how would the Directorates of our State convince people to stay in the Departments, not to speak of behaving like an owner of their body and soul.
In a world changing at a pace that bogs the minds down, principles and practices are bound to keep pace with the speed of
change. The very question that should doctors be allowed to practice in their clinics sounds anachronistic. Getting to this level of administration and governance with a bang sounds idiotic, if not criminal, in a time when huge, and more pressing, changes in governance are long pending. (We have a million dogs ruling our streets and biting into old and young; any plans for raiding the canine!) All the logic that would feed this anxiety has exhausted long back in the changes that are now only old. With the arrival of open economy the flow of money has been in all the four directions and it automatically demands more human hands to keep it running. The health insurance, the medical equipment industry, the spread of knowledge, and the availability of money with the young generation working in corporate sector or doing their business in a more modern way, and that all important thing –time management– feed into the proliferation of every kind of private sector, health just being one. It’s bound to bring pressure to public sector. And when we have less expert hands and most of them work with the premier government institutes the flood can only toss against these walls. The question is not how to reinforce the walls, it’s how to benefit from the ocean majestically spread outside.
Now how can public and private health sector interact in J&K and how regulations can be laid down - of course with the underlying principle that regulations are no permanent things - that suit the both and finally benefit public the most. This cannot be done by raiding a clinic and scaring doctors. It needs minds, not munitions. Our government and administration seem to have just one solution to all ‘ills’. If people come out and protest, ban them from coming out. It they still come out, strike down their heads. If butchers sell meat at a price unacceptable to some Department, raid their shops. If chickens are sold on an occasion like Eid on a little raised price, create an atmosphere so that every seller of the bird chickens out. If Assembly is in session block all the roads leading to or passing through the House. If a VVIP has to reach anywhere signal red for every vehicle that sound like coming in the direction. If lawyers try to defend the Right bundle them up and show them their place in the dungeon. It’s a militarized mind. Civil administration by its very name should first sound like civility.
If any changes are required in how the medicine is practiced in out State, why can’t we have a credible body of people comprising doctors, administrators, members of different parties, and also men of standing in other fields, to conduct a study into what changes need to be brought into various fields of working. The recommendations from this body can be made public through media and of course put before the government of the day so that required action follows. Then if we have violators, penalize them. You cannot have rules eating dust in files and when suddenly something happens and some head spins off you make a stick of those rules and flail it in all possible directions; doesn’t matter how many heads come in the way.
Some experts, civil society members, activist, and members of parties, who neither necessarily owe their loyalty to any government nor beg them for sustenance can get together and do some thinking for better life. Governance may be an abominable proposition because it straight away takes us to government, and in Kashmir the entire structure of power is connected to people through the links of deceit and oppression. It suffers from the crisis of legitimacy. But we can at least activate the society to negotiate issues like the one we have at hand right now.
PS: No one has a right to humiliate a doctor. No, no one has a right to humiliate anyone. All the doctors around, did you feel a twitch when you became the target of humiliation! What, when it is otherwise. A smile and a pleasant talk would only add to your being better human. And also being better doctor.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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