Complaints about the state of medical care are increasing in todays India; whether its unnecessary investigations, botched operations or expensive, sometimes even harmful, medication. But while the unease is widespread, a few of them outside the profession understand the extent to which the medical system is being distorted. Dr. Arun Gadre and Dr. Abhay Shukla have gathered evidence from seventy-eight practicing doctors, in both the private and public medical sectors, to expose the ways in which vulnerable patients are exploited by a system that promotes unscrupulous medical practices.
At a time when the medical sector is growing rapidly, especially in urban areas, with the proliferation of multi-specialty hospitals and the adoption of ever-more sophisticated technologies, rational and ethical medical care is becoming increasingly rare. Honest doctors feel under siege, professional bodies meant to regulate the medical sector fail to do so, and the influence of the powerful pharmaceutical industry becomes even more pervasive.
Drawing on the frank and courageous statements of these seventy-eight doctors dismayed at the state of their profession, Dissenting Diagnosis lays bare the corruption afflicting the medical sector in India and sets out solutions for a healthier future.
Dr. Arun Gadre is a gynecologist. He practiced in a drought-prone area of rural Maharashtra for twenty years. With the support of his anesthetist wife, Dr. Jyoti Gadre, he ran a small hospital on a private basis, witnessing first-hand the degeneration of the once noble medical profession. Unable to stem the rot and fatigued by practicing in a resource-poor set-up with rising patient expectations, he left private practice to work as a coordinator of a Pune-based NGO, SATHI, which specializes in policy advocacy related to health care in India. Dr. Gadre is the author of seventeen books in Marathi, including six novels, and is a recipient of several literary awards.
Dr. Abhay Shukla is a public health physician, with a postgraduate degree in community medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He has worked on health issues in collaboration with peoples movements and grassroots NGOs in Maharashtra for two decades. He is Senior Programme Coordinator with SATHI, Pune, and is a member of advisory bodies for the National Rural Health Mission and the National Human Rights Commission. He is a national convener of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (Peoples Health Movement“India) and has facilitated public hearings on right to healthcare across the country. Dr. Shukla has authored and edited several books on health system issues. He has contributed to developing the framework of community-based monitoring and planning of health services at the national level and in Maharashtra. He is involved in action and research for the promotion of patients rights, the social regulation of the private medical sector and universal health care
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