Friend and guardian of the family
The concept of a family doctor is still prevalent in the developed countries as are health care systems that actually care for the sick. Why cannot a similar system be executed in the country, asks DR. S. SUBRAMANYAM MUDALIAR.
TILL the early 1980s, the family doctor played an important part in our lives. Usually he or she was an elderly experienced doctor.
Much respected, he would make house visits. Things are different now. Clinics are run the commercial establishments, attached to a laboratory or a medical shop. Even pharmacists prescribe and sell medicines across the counter. The streamlined clinical approach to health, confidentiality and respect for the ordinary doctor has disappeared.
But the good old family doctor still exists in developed countries. He is called the general practitioner or GP. Every one has to register with him and go only to the specialists whom he refers them to. The G.P. is familiar with the health and social problems of the family and is a close associate.
Nursing care is excellent where the staff are well-paid and appreciation shown for their working hours, training, refresher courses on basic life support and other routine patient care. Such health care systems exist not only in western countries like the United Kingdom, or the United States, but also in West Asia and South East Asia.
Even though it is difficult to manage in a huge country with a massive population like ours, such a system is still achievable.
The writer is with the cardiac anaesthesia department, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, U.K..
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