The Wenlock Hospital, located in the heart of Mangalore city, is one of the oldest hospitals in Mangalore. Established in 1848 this hospital provides healthcare to thousands of people in and around Mangalore. It caters to the healthcare needs mainly for the under privileged strata of the society. This hospital has also opened its doors for medical students to come and learn valuable medical skills, which will provide them the foundation to become better doctors.
The hospital treats thousands of patients every day. Three- fourth of this humongous population are poor- some, even without a proper home. From experience, I have heard my peeps complain about the weird smell in the hospital, the dirty floor or even the unpainted walls! Well if I said, I had never thought the same way then that would just be hypocrisy! But, once I opened my eyes wide, something sort of a weird but motivating ‘understanding’ dawned on me. You can say that it was something like an ‘acceptance’ – a feeling of warmth and gratitude to the place. The thing that struck me was in fact the DOCTORS! Day in and day out, they run around the hospital making sure that all the patients are treated equally. They did not bother about the stench, or the dirty floors or the walls for that matter! What mattered to them were their patients. Provided the monetary status of the visiting patients in Wenlock it’s not easy to convert the hospital into a posh multi-specialty medical center overnight. It takes time and money but good health cannot wait for either.
A doctor’s duty is to treat his patients with the necessities provided. In a highly populated country like India, thousands of people are suffering with umpteen ailments some even unknown to the world! Instead of commenting it’s important for a change of perspective. During my medicine posting in Wenlock Hospital this was what our professor told us when we failed to establish a proper doctor-patient relationship, “For you this patient might be one among the thirty cases which you have to examine and learn but to her (the patient’s daughter), this is her whole life!” It was an eye-opener because sometimes we forget the true purpose of our visit to these hospitals. This hospital has taught me so much and I am indeed looking forward in learning more.
‘’Health care is one-sixth of our economy. If the government can control that, they can control just about everything. We need to understand what is going on, because there are much more economic models that can be used to give us good health care than what we have now.’’
Food for thought! 😉