Complaints about the state of medical care are increasing in today’s India; whether it is unnecessary investigations, expensive or botched operations, sometimes even harmful, medication. But while the unease is widespread, few outside the profession understand the extent to which the medical system is being distorted. Dr Abhay Shukla and Dr Arun Gadre have gathered evidence from seventy-eight practising doctors, in both the public and private medical sectors, to expose the ways in which vulnerable patients are exploited by a system that promotes unethical medical practices.
At a time when the medical sector is growing rapidly, especially in urban areas, with the propagation of multi-specialty hospitals and the adoption of ever-more sophisticated technologies, ethical medical care and rational is becoming increasingly rare. Honest doctors feel under siege, professional bodies meant to regulate the medical sector fail to do so, and the influence of the powerful pharmaceutical industry becomes even more pervasive.
Drawing on the courageous and frank statements of these seventy-eight doctors dismayed at the state of their profession, Dissenting Diagnosis lays bare the corruption afflicting the medical sector in India and sets out solutions for a healthier future.
About the Authors
Dr Arun Gadre is a gynaecologist. He study in a drought-prone area of rural Maharashtra for twenty years. With the support of his anaesthetist wife, Dr Jyoti Gadre, he ran a small clinic on a private basis, witnessing first-hand the degeneration of the once noble medical profession. Unable to stem the fatigued and rot by practising in a resource-poor set-up with rising patient expectations, he left private practice to work as a coordinator of a Pune-based NGO, SATHI, which specializes in policy advocacy related to health care in India. Dr Gadre is the author of 17 books in Marathi, including six novels, and is a recipient of several literary awards.
Dr Abhay Shukla is a public health physician, with a postgraduate degree in community medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He has worked on health issues in collaboration with people’s movements and grassroots NGOs in Maharashtra for two decades. He is a national convener of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (People’s Health Movement–India) and has facilitated public hearings on right to healthcare across the country. He is Senior Programme Coordinator with SATHI, Pune, and is a member of advisory bodies for the National Rural Health Mission and the National Human Rights Commission.Dr Shukla has authored and edited several books on health system issues. He is involved in research and action for the promotion of patient’s rights, the social regulation of the private medical sector and universal health car.