The article, ‘When doctor's prescription becomes injurious to health,' ( The Hindu, Open Page, March 27) by Dr.G. Ramanujam evoked peels of laughter.

I would like to register my experiences with a clinic in the neighbourhood. First and foremost, the queue system is not properly followed and its management has been entrusted to a person who has been looking after the job for many years, but has not been properly looked after in turn by the doctor.

He is a man with several ailments including deafness. Whenever you visit the clinic, he himself will appear as the most desperate and suffering patient in the waiting, leave alone his ability to manage the queue.

Token number chits are kept in a chair and people walk in anytime, pick up the tokens and leave. But the patients more often than not never return in time for their turn.

As a result, it is a mess near the doctor's room. Numbers 7 and 10 are late and have missed their slots, so there is confusion as to whether 7 should precede or succeed 15 or whether 10 can be allowed before 18.

When a patient goes in, you get to see a few others sprinting to plonk themselves down near the door. They take astute positions as athletes would during the start of a marathon. The better of them wins the next entry. They turn cantankerous when questioned about their behaviour.

The doctor is a general physician who is adorned and flocked by patients round the clock, mainly because there is none other in the proximity. And, going by the way he treats his patients, I am forced to presume that the word ‘general physician' actually means specialist in all departments.

He attends to patients with all known ailments under the sun. He rarely opts for further investigation or refers a case to a specialist when the patient's health refuses to improve even after several consultations.

He relentlessly keeps rolling out similar prescriptions every time the patient visits with the recurrence of the symptom. Maybe, he doesn't want to lose out on his customer base.

The clinic is severely infested with mosquitoes that you have to either keep walking or make rhythmic movements while sitting to avoid deadly bites.

So it is more likely that anyone accompanying the patients will have to endure mosquito bites, and he or she may come back a couple of days later — but as a patient this time, probably with an assistant who is a future patient. This way, the doctor has mastered the art of expanding his customer base!

Specialist in injection

The doctor, though a general physician, is considered a specialist in one thing — injections.

He is so drawn to giving shots the moment a patient enters, he pulls out a syringe and prepares his injection even before hearing the actual complaint. Probably, even some of the medical representatives have had such experiences with him. And this, he does being glued to a wall-mounted television set in his room.

At times, when his emotion gets deep while watching a serial, the patient's emotion too gets deep with the ‘deep' injection. Well, with this experience of myself I thought it fit to keep the title, ‘When a visit to doctor itself is injurious to health.'

(The writer's email is: kahdar@rediffmail.com)

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