Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Medical professionals are fed up with the ever increasing “VIP syndrome”
Ever since the dawn of civilization, man has been interested in categorizing self .In this 21st century , the scenario has not much changed  . The classes are different though. Money makes power and power makes VIPs. This was in yesteryears. Today, a sum total of all celebrities, MLAs and ministers their uncles, aunts and relatives make the  VIPs list complete .The common man left behind are the only exceptions from this category
 What is  VIP Syndrome ?A 'condition' caused when a very important person (VIP) by virtue of fame, position or claim on public interest disrupts the normal course of patient care in a hospital.
                                                                                                                              Segen's Medical Dictionary. 
Every  Medical  professional , whether it be doctors, nurses or physiotherapists pledge that they would provide universal care to  their patients irrespective of cast, creed and social status;  during the  divine occasion of graduation .In rea,l this doesn’t happen. Look at what happens in a corporate hospital in a city like Bangalore.
Scene 1 : A VVIP patient (rather customer in today’s terms ) gets admitted ,they rush the person to an ultra-deluxe  ward, switch on the idiot box  and appoints a  nurse to attend him holistically ,so that he doesn’t feel left out in the crew .The VIP may have got admitted with a common cold whereas, a patient with an acute MI if unlucky enough to arrive at the same  hospital the same day then they would have to wait till the VIP is checked for all possible complications for the next ten years .A  normal person gets admitted to a private room ,charges vary , so do the facilities and care (understandable), but here there would be one single nurse to look after 6 to 7 patients and a doc for the whole floor. The consultants would peep in when the church bell rings in the morning and then seldom do we find them ,these patients (not customers ) too pay a huge amount though no stars are attached  to their category  .Expectations would be high and the medical team fails to meet them but all are least bothered .
Scene 2: The same hospital, a talk by a supervisor to the newly joined staff. She explains that, one has to attend the patient according to priority,  all of us nodded our heads we learnt this in our professional  ethics. We left our mouths wide open, when she told us the priority is based on the VIP status .
Scene 3:A cardiology patient after his heart surgery 15 th day demands a bed bath .The nurse refuses and explains to the patient that it is unwanted moreover taking a full bath in bathroom is more beneficial but she  had to give an explanation for not accepting the red marked customer’s order .

Scene 4: The same place, Hospital protocol clearly states that-“ the patient file should never be shown to the patient or the patient party” .Mr.X belonging to the red category(known to the minister), arrives to the hospital  and demands the file (patient record). Poor thing the nurse refuses saying it is against rules. She is shouted at by the VIPs and later the management asks her to submit the documents .Where goes the protocol? Vanished in thin air? Rules exist only for the common man ?.All these go unanswered.
Scene 5: Doctors act differently with VIPs . They know their decisions will be scrutinized not only by hospital administrators looking over their shoulders but also by the press and public. Doctors who would normally ask, "What's the best care for a 76-year-old man with a malignant glioma?" instead wonder, "What do we do now that our MP  has a malignant glioma? They would have to deal with all the doubts that arise from the customer after his brutal rape of the Google search engine.
Scene 6: VIP syndrome affects not only the treatment, but also testing decisions. If Ms Aiswarya a school teacher asks for a  CT scan  she  doesn't  need, doctors simply say, "No, Ms Aiswarya." But Aishwarya  Rai Bachan can get any CT she wants.
Its high time we shake ourselves out of the rut and react to this ever increasing graph of VIP syndrome.

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