Letters to the government: Volume-4

Stethoscope is not meant for vultures:

If A=B and if B=C, then A=C.
Do you think the above statement is True? Or is it false? 

Those who have attended aptitude test in job interview rounds are very much familiar with such questions. Let’s try to relate the above question with Kerala government to see how it works. If bureaucrats, police and courts in Kerala are biased and corrupt. And if this corruption is with the awareness of the ruling government, then the government is corrupt. Do you think it is true? Or is it false?

“Letters to the government” are meant to expose how bureaucracy, police, courts and the elected representatives deceive poor voters. The intention is not to exaggerate things to show government in bad light. It is a sincere attempt to create awareness among people and to inform government about the areas for improvement. 

Most of my readers in India are from middle class, who probably do not prefer visiting government hospitals. I got used to government health care facilities in the last few years. This article is not about my displeasure in getting used to government hospitals.  It is about the blatant abuse of power against the poor and helpless. 
If people from middle class and above were to visit government hospitals for surgeries and procedures, then the behaviour and attitude of the medical staffs in government hospitals will improve in no time. Or, the incidents of public slapping medical staffs will become regular. We come across incidents of public slapping doctors for denial of treatment every now and then. The last one I heard was of a policemen slapping doctor for denial of treatment. And the doctors from across Kerala went on protest, demanding the arrest of policemen.

Most of those who visit government hospitals are poor and vulnerable. Those who belong to middle class and above will not prefer government hospitals. Those with health insurance (provided by employer or privately brought) will never visit government hospitals. Many who could afford treatment in private hospitals won’t trust government hospitals. People do not want to risk their life and do not want to take chances. The present Chief minister of Kerala do not trust even the private hospitals in entire India. He will go to United States for medical treatment. 
Medical staffs in government hospitals are sure that there wouldn’t  be any consequences for being rude or for messing someone’s health and life. They know these poor people are not capable of punishing them. In India, we are accustomed to this popular notion that we don’t have to respect people who are poor than us. Instead, we respect those who are richer than us, often more than they deserve. Those who are poor than us are expected to follow this code hanging in the air.

A doctor or a nurse working in government hospital will have a house, a car worth few lakhs and probably few acres of land belonging to his/her family. They expect the poor patients to be good to them, regardless of how the treatment goes. I am not blaming all of them, but majority of them are corrupt. Those who are not corrupt will report to someone corrupt. In fact, being corrupt and cooperating with corrupt is an eligibility criteria for promotions in government jobs in India. 

We have bribe and influence culture, which is deep rooted in Indian society. This means, government employees expect people to pay bribe. The bribe expected is not only for helping someone in unlawful activities. It should be paid even for availing legitimate service, which includes basic necessities. Wealthy and influential can deny treatment for someone poor using this corrupt system. It could be in the form of incorrect report after diagnosis, prescribing wrong medicines, an incorrect lab report or discharge summary.
Hippocrates was a great physician and a philosopher who lived in 400BC. He is regarded as father of medicine. And his famous mantra was; “First, do no harm”. 

I was admitted in Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, with a stab injury.  Of course they helped me. But they tried to kill me, as much as they helped me to survive. They tried to damaged my internal organs, which will kill me eventually. All of them in KMC are not bad, but they were following someone’s instruction. This is not how they treat every patient in KMC, but I am sure that I am not the only person who went through it.

Doctors and surgeons who are known for their experience and expertise are the only few, who are highly paid in private hospitals. Rest of the medical staffs in expensive multi super-speciality hospitals are getting less than those in government hospitals. Doctors and medical staffs in private hospitals won’t get any sort of allowances and retirement benefits. But the care given by medical staffs in private hospital is far better. Doctors, nurses, the house keeping staffs and even the security guards in private hospitals are well behaved. So, the care given by the medical staffs or lack of it, their attitude and behaviour is not because of how much they get. It is because of the kind of people visiting the hospitals. In government hospitals, they know how to treat a wealthy politician or a businessman. But poor, who cannot afford private hospital will be ill-treated in government hospitals.

Kerala is a state known for government medical staffs union. They are known for their shameless dirty politics and protests. Their never ending protests are for unreasonable demands. The doctors in Kerala are getting much more than the doctors in several other states. Yet, they expect Kerala government to increase their salary by 4% every years. Just type ‘doctor’s protest in Kerala’ in Google search and you will see a lengthy list. 
AIIMS calculates the cost of producing one MBBS at ₹1.7 crores and just a fraction of this is paid by the students in government medical College. In 2019, the supreme court made it Mandatory for doctors who get MBBS from government medical College to compulsorily serve in rural India for at least two years. Or they should pay ₹20 lakhs to avoid it. But the government is spending more than ₹20 lakhs to produce a doctor. As per WHO recommendation, doctor-patient ratio should be 1:1000 and in India the ratio is at 1:11082. So there is a shortage of 600,000 doctors in government hospitals. And rural India is the most affected due to this shortage.

I been to the government hospital in my home town for stomach ache, an year ago. The doctor wanted me to test my blood and urine. The lab report showed that I have kidney stone. The lab report was examined by two different doctors and they both said the same. Probably, the lab report was generated incorrectly to horrify me. They suggested some sort of scan in private hospital, because it is not there in the local government hospital. I didn’t  take it seriously and there wasn’t any stone. My stomach pain cured after having six pills, prescribed by the doctor. 
I used to get pain in my liver which was wounded in an attack. I visited Trissur medical College on a Monday. It was my first visit and the lady in the OP counter said that the doctors who treat for liver are available only on Thursday. Later, I got to know that the treatment for liver is available on all seven days a week and there are many doctors who are specialised in gastroenterology. Again, I been to Trissur medical College on a Thursday and took a OP ticket. The OP ticket I got was for room A and no doctor came to room A, till twelve in the noon. There were more than one hundred people there to see the doctor in Room A. More than half of the patients left without seeing the doctor. At twelve o’clock, three doctors came and cleared the queue in just one hour. 

The doctor asked me to get a X-ray of my ribcage and ECG. The doctors left even before I came back with ECG and the X-ray. My liver was wounded due to a stab injury. As far as I know, there are blood tests to check the liver functioning and a scan will help the doctor to see my liver. But they wanted to get rid of me with an ECG and X-ray, which has got nothing to do with liver. Probably the reason for no doctors visiting room A was because, I was waiting to see doctors in room A and someone didn’t  like it. So they stopped doctors from coming to room A. Three doctors who came to room A at twelve in the noon closed Out-patient consultation before 1:30 Pm. 

I wrote to Kerala health ministry. I didn’t  get any response from them and there wasn’t  any sort of action. You can read the email by clicking this link here-first email to Kerala health ministry.

One cannot get medical treatment forcefully. The treatment may involve procedures, where the patient will be unconscious and the doctors can make or break. So, I gave up. And I am still alive by god’s grace.
Recently, my mother had a cataract surgery in a private hospital. It wasn’t expensive, but it was much more than what we could afford at this point of time. Now she can see clearly. She and me are very happy. Words are not enough to thank the hospital authority. Everything was well organised. Doctors and staffs were too good in behaviour, care and the surgery was successful.

The cataract surgery is available in government hospitals across Kerala. We actually tried to get this done in government hospital for more than six months. It just didn’t happen. We spent lot of money visiting government hospitals in different places. Last time, she was admitted in Trissur medical College for cataract surgery. We spent two days there. Then, we were asked to leave on the day the surgery was scheduled. We left hospital without surgery along with five other patients, whose surgery was scheduled for the same day.

First they said that the medical staffs will not come due to increase in covid infection. They said that the nurses will not obey what doctors say and will stay back. Then, they blamed government. They said it is government order. The reason mentioned on discharge summary was covid infection in operation theatre. If operation theatre is infected with Covid, then the doctors in Trissur medical College should be able to answer this question. For how long the corona virus can survive in a room, if no disinfectant is sprayed? It cannot be anything more than 48 hours. And there was no activity in the operation theatre meant for eye surgery, for at least 48 hours.
 We could take care of my mother’s  cataract surgery in a private hospital, because it was not expensive. What if they were to play this trick with someone needing an angioplasty or some procedure which would cost lakhs in private hospital? Then the only option left with poor will be to tolerate this absurdity without any hope. Because, tolerating this absurdity won’t  guarantee cure for their ailment. 

What is even more worrisome is that they wanted my mother to walk out from hospital after surgery being completely blind. It was someone’s contract. So, they first said that my mother has hepatitis B and they will not check the lens for someone with hepatitis B. They will implant a lens which they think is correct. Later they will adjust the vision using glasses, if necessary. They also tried to prepare me to accept that she could be blind after surgery. They said that those with diabetes may not get vision soon after surgery. They said that they may have to inject medicines into nerves in her eye to reinstate her vision. Some of it could be true. But, It’s  hard to believe.

I called Kerala health ministry to inform them that we are asked to leave hospital without surgery. I was rude. The person who answered my call was upset about my mannerism. So, he informed police and they tracked my phone number. By evening, I got a call from Circle Inspector of police, asking me to visit police station on the following day. Following day, I visited police station and explained Circle Inspector about the call. And I sent an email to CMO-KERALA.

Contents of the email sent to CMO and health ministry of Kerala:

Subject: An open letter to CMO and health ministry of Kerala. Complaint against Trissur medical College and irresponsible Health Ministry of Kerala.

Respected sir/Madam,

This is to inform you that your government and ministry is the most irresponsible one Kerala has ever had. 

The medical staffs in Trissur medical College are rude, arrogant and the treatment offered to patients are according to their whims and fantasies. And they blame your government and ministry for what they do. They are saying that they are just obeying the orders of health Ministry, which is reckless. It is true that treatment at Trissur medical College was denied on several occasions and complaint letter to health ministry did not result in any sort of action. I have attached a copy of a complaint email sent to Kerala Health Ministry. It was about treatment denial in the past for your reference.

It is strange that people who answer calls in health ministry will become dumb all of a sudden, while on call or are well trained to handle complaint calls, where the line will go blank. The caller will be forced to disconnect the line and call back to continue the conversation.

I visited Trissur Medical College along with my mother for admission on last Saturday as scheduled, for a cataract surgery on 24 January 2022. There were five other patients other than my mother, whose surgery was scheduled for 24 January 2022. They admitted us after following the due procedure by noon. By evening a doctor visited our ward and said that they may have to cancel the scheduled surgery due to COVID and wanted us to co-operate. It has to be other way round where, doctors and the medical staffs should co-operate, when someone sick comes to hospital. 

The doctors who wanted our cooperation to cancel the scheduled surgery, said that it is due to increased number of COVID infection among medical staff and some of them are not ready to attend for duty for the same reason. Health ministry can check how many of them fell sick due to COVID. Later they said it is due to government order. 

The hospital authority allowed us to stay in Medical College throughout Sunday and made us go through due procedure for surgery, which was due on the following morning. A lady doctor by name Harsha visited our ward by nine thirty on Sunday night and informed that the surgery has been cancelled for all six patients. It is not Dr. Harsha who decided it. She just informed the decision of hospital authority. And we were asked to return lens, medicines and the consumables needed for surgery to the medical store from where we brought them.

I called Trissur MLA V S Sunil Kumar, seeking help to make hospital authority change their decision. His explanation was such that he can involve in it only if it is an emergency surgery and cancellation results in life threatening situation. 

Later, I spoke to doctors on Monday morning and their explanation was that they are just following the government’s order. 
I understand that the COVID infection is around three lakh or more per day in India. There could be increased infection rate among medical staffs in Trissur medical College. But, none of it is a reason which is good enough to cancel scheduled surgery for patients who had two doses of covishield vaccine, had RTPCR test before getting admission in Medical College. And the government says that the RTPCR is valid for a week.  My mother’s RTPCR was done on 20 January 2022 and we should have left medical College by noon on 25 January 2022 after surgery. 

As of now, we are not facing a calamity in Kerala. But Kerala government and the reckless ruling party is doing everything possible to create a calamity. And they want more people to suffer from the calamity they create. Hence, all surgeries other than those life threatening are cancelled for the time being siting COVID 19 as reason. This is explained further in the next two paragraphs.

At present people in Kerala are allowed to go out and breath fresh air. Shops, commercial establishments, public transport and educational institutions has resumed services after months of lockdown. Beverage corporation outlets are selling liquor without any restrictions to generate tax revenue for Kerala government, KSRTC bus service has no restrictions and at least one thousand people visit OP in Trissur medical College every day. Those patients who visit OP from different places are not a threat for your government and hospital authority. Few patients who are fully vaccinated and have produced RTPCR before admission are considered as a threat. Hence, government and the hospital authority have decided to shutdown the Operation theatre. This means, all surgeries which are not life threatening are cancelled due to COVID when all other services are as usual. And the ruling communist party is organising ‘party conference’ everywhere to make people gather in large numbers. 

Now the Omicron variant of virus infection is crossing three lakhs a day in India, which is alarming. Let me tell you that everything returned to complete normalcy after the first wave of COVID 19 and the lockdown in 2020. Again we had complete shutdown in May, June and July 2021 due to second wave(delta variant). Now the rate at which the infection is spreading tells that another  lockdown is very likely which will bring everything to standstill. It can go for few months like in 2021. Those surgeries which are cancelled now are for a lockdown to commence in the future and those patients needing surgery can schedule a date after the next lockdown comes to an end. Sale of liquor in beverage outlets and a Communist party conference will help in acceleration of COVID infection rate, the calamity which government wants to create. 

Either your Chief Minister don’t trust hospitals in Kerala (private and government) or he is not comfortable with this funny rules he imposes. So he goes all the way to USA for his treatment. The ruling party could be of the opinion that there is no one wise like him and I completely agree with it.

If your government headed by this wise man is of the opinion that COVID infection rate is on a rise, then shutting down the operation theatres in government hospital is not a solution for it. Movie theatres, Shopping malls and Bars are operating as usual. If your government is of the opinion that lockdown is not an option anymore and we should learn to live with COVID, then I just don’t understand why operation theatres are shut in hospitals and why Medical treatment is denied to people. 

I called Kerala health ministry regarding this on 24 January 2022 from hospital and the action was quick that I got a call from Circle Inspector of police in Kuttippuram police station by evening. He asked me to go meet him on the following day. I met him yesterday morning and explained that it is true that I spoke to someone in health ministry and I was rude. But I wasn’t as rude as the government is. Or the one answered my call from health ministry expected more respect than what health ministry deserves. The police in Kuttippuram station didn’t use third degree, instead took my name, number, address and allowed me to go. I am more than happy to face any legal consequences, if the person who answered my call, the health ministry or the government wants to demand more respect from me, than what you actually deserve.

My issue with Trissur medical College and your government is much more than what is explained in this email. I don’t expect any sort of action from your reckless administration. If we were to go by the law of the land, then several things mentioned in this email are punishable offence. Unfortunately, no such law exists in Kerala under your great regime.

A course correction or a change in your approach will help your party and government in upcoming elections. If not the majority in Kerala will say things like what I have stated in this email.

Warm Regards
Prasad Babu
Mobile: 7603864236
Email: prasad@flamesofdissent.com
Website: www.flamesofdissent.com

This happens to be the volume-4 of “Letters to the government”. The first one was against Indiapost, an institution owned by Union government, which is also into banking other than Courier service. People in Indiapost made a deliberate attempt to mislead me about my pin code, which went on for more than a year. It was to help misrepresentation and impersonation. After publishing “Letters to the government: Volume-1”, a lady came on her scooter, all the way from Tirur to my house (20 Kilometres). She said that the pin code for my address changed in 2018. She said that the change of pin code is for the entire area and not for my address alone. I told her that I cannot accept it, unless she gives it in writing. Later, I received an email stating that the pin code for my address is different from what is on my documents. I still see the drop down menu of various government websites like UIDAI, election commission of India, Income tax department showing the same pin code I have on my documents. 

Volume 2 and 3 of “Letters to the government” was against police and court ignoring two attempts to kill me, and few other issues, which amounts to radicalization and organised crime. May be the police and courts are of the opinion that they are above the law, or they make laws. So, they didn’t engage in a melodrama to justify their side.  

On 20 April 2022, flamesofdissent.com published a story, “ Hyperbolic numbers and deceptive figures”. Followed by that, two young women visited my place. They said that they are part of a team conducting survey on employment. They took my name, age, phone number and email address. I am not sure about who organised this show and what it was for? 
This article is about denial of medical treatment in government health care facilities. And i am not looking forward for a melodrama from the ruling LDF government again.

Someone wanted to takeaway my citizenship or wanted me dead. They tried to kill me several times. The police, court and government ignored it. They denied medical treatment to see me dead. They also tried to mislead me to have a wrong pin code on all my documents. This is my side of the story. So far, no one challenged my side of the story. So, that makes me believe that it is true. 

Recently, it was there in the news that 800 Pakistani Hindus returned to Pakistan, after spending several months in Rajasthan. They came to India, because they couldn’t practice Hinduism in Pakistan and were subjected to harassment. They went back to Pakistan after spending several months in Rajasthan, because Union of India didn’t accept them as Indian Citizens. India didn’t give them the required documents for Indian citizenship. “Letters to the government: Volume 1-4”, explains the attempts to kill me and the attempts to takeaway my citizenship.

Kerala government has spent hundreds of crores over the last several decades for advanced medical equipment. All the money spent on these medical equipment belongs to the public. These medical equipment and facilities available in various government hospitals are world class and are as good as private hospitals. Medical care should be available for all without any sort of prejudice and discrimination. People in health ministry, who are too sensitive and emotional are not fit to address public grievances. We have doctors and medical staffs who are corrupt, stubborn and ruthless. On the other hand, people in health ministry wants to teach mannerism to public. Ruling LDF government in Kerala should reconsider spending public money on staffs in CMO-KERALA, health ministry, law ministry and so on. They are not of any help to the poor. What they can do for the people are things which can be done without them. Denial of medical treatment is not at all acceptable, regardless of whatsoever the reason is.

Communist party workers often say that they will not consider someone as human, unless they join the party. Kerala is a state, where Communist party strongholds are called party-gramam (party-Village). In party-gramam, one cannot do business, cannot get job and will be deprived of government services, if he/she is against the party. The only option will be to join the party and obey their draconian laws. Or, they can sell their property and leave the place. But, the comrades will not allow the sale of property. Carl Marx, who was expelled from Germany could have never thought that his theories will lead to such madness. 
It is time for Comrades to come out of their narrow mind-set and thinking. Comrades should learn that the Communist theory is about comrades joining the struggle of the poor to build party. It is not about exploiting the vulnerable to make them join party. 

Communist party of India led by EMS Namboodiripad formed the first Communist government in Kerala in 1957. Since then, keralites elected alternative government. The only exception is the second consecutive term of present chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

What comrades should understand is that they alone cannot win any election. Communist party will win an election, when people elects. If all those who vote for communist are comrades, then comrades were electing alternate governments in Kerala in every five years. So it is better, if everyone are treated as human being. 

Readers can download the copy of email sent CMO-KERALA by clicking the link- Open letter

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