With yet another Independence Day celebration on August 15, 2017, India and the Indians were jubilant over the typical hash tag - India at 70. Nationalists were all in for the praise of the present government, while the liberals were causing all the hue and cry around the misses and messes in the political scenario.
But in the whole turn, the nation seems to have forgotten the incident of August 11, 2017 when almost 70 new borns went to definite permanent sleep in the State of Uttar Pradesh. When we look at the question why?, the obvious answer from any government agency, minister or legislature would be lack of oxygen cylinder supply. Liberals would target government over it and the government would highlight the failures of the previous government in setting up the right process. In short, the actual cause for the case would get overshadowed with blames and counter blames. But, what needs to be looked at the bureaucratic approach that caused the acute shortage of life saving supply to a Government Hospital.
The Supplier agency was sending reminder alerts to the hospital for delayed unpaid invoices, but no one was there in the bureaucratic chain to heed to those alerts. In the mean time the contract of the supplier gets over and he stops supply of the Oxygen Cylinders, so that makes it much grave a situation than it could have been. Ultimately the impact was on the lives of those who were to still see the world, they rather saw the cruelty way ahead of the time they could have. They became the posthumous witness of the entire episode. Many of them leaving the world without may be getting a name by which we shall have said the prayers for their souls to attain the peace.
But, is this the first such case in the Medical Industry in India? Is this the only case that has been reported and has made some splash in the political corridors as well as media? The answer probably is Yes, because in recent times this is the most grievous incident that we have witnessed. But going back in the history of Indian Government Medical History, there are probably more that should teach us a lesson or two:
- Case of the medicine supply where the doctor in charge goes missing after being identified as the culprit and master mind behind the nexus that diverted hospital supplies to private nursing homes and pharmacists. He is declared dead, but the nexus created by him was still being run that certainly he controlled from his abode away from where the cops would have looked for him. With adequate political backing by the then ruling government, he was well covered, but finally gets caught and sentenced - Case from Uttar Pradesh
- Case of counterfeit / fake drugs being supplied to the Government hospitals by the suppliers while diverting the original to the pharmacists at lower prices and make mullah on both ends. high profile government officials as well as politicians involved in the racket - Case from multiple states in India, Specifically to highlight - Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa & Maharashtra. Modus Operandi is so neat that only the middle man are caught and then the case gets into the cold basket with no headway. This still happens and the common man suffers.
- Case of multiple murders across India for opposing the above practices; culprit gets off as only the offender gets caught and gets a max punishment of Life imprisonment (14 or 20 years). In many cases, the offender gets out way ahead and lives a normal life. Forget the justice for the political backing for the main culprits and the offenders.
So, if we look at the state of Affairs in the Medical Arena, there is a lot of corruption that has marred the medical supply affair. What is needed is to clean this malpractice and uproot the corruption in the medical supply chain model. Unless Government, Media and the public acts to end it, India @ 70 would still be immature Baby rather than a grown up nation.