India issues a large number of medical visas to Bangladeshi patients every year, thanks to the country’s failing health system. The growing outflow of patients to India can be attributed to a large extent to the negligence of local doctors, coupled with their fixation on multiple check-ups which their patients have to go through, often unnecessarily. This has been going on for quite some time. During his recent trip to Dhaka, the Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, who was once a student of Mymensingh Medical College, recalled an incident in which he had to endure negligence by a local Bangladeshi doctor. That negligence would have cost him dearly had it not been for another doctor who helped him and later became his role model. He has rightly stressed the importance of being a good human being before one chooses to be a doctor.
Negligence by doctors cannot be seen in isolation from the moral decadence that our society in general is experiencing. Dr Lotay Tshering’s statement should serve as a wake-up call for anyone engaged in any kind of profession, especially those in the life-saving medical profession. It is important that doctors have empathy and treat their patients with utmost care and seriousness. Only then will the faith of ordinary people in their doctors be restored.