The Media jamboree surrounding the Naresh Trehan episode got me wondering of one thing on Saturday morning, it must really easy to manipulate the media. I mean, for a long time none of the channels even bothered to look at the other point of view and didn’t think twice of ‘creating’ the ruckus that they were reporting about. Anyway, the only impartial coverage was in a couple of newspapers, including the Times which actually bothered calling up some other doctors to get their opinions, and the entire issue isn’t that cut and dry just yet.
Anyway, I found myself at AIIMS today morning and while I had an appointment to meet a doctor, I was taken aback by the mass of humanity at the place. Honestly, if there is one place in the world I dislike it is hospitals, of all hues, but government-run institutions in India can just amaze you with the mass of people. And you somehow realise the crisis of healthcare delivery that this country in going to face very soon and it is surprising that the media hasn’t caught onto this sooner.
While AIIMS has become a political minefield between Dr Venugopal and Dr Ramadoss, our health minister, like several other ministers in the cabinet has been bothered more with petty issues than with the general state of healthcare in the country. The key problem is education. See while Ramadoss and Arjun Singh want AIIMS to let in more ‘oppressed’ classes, on the basis of a 1931 report, and if Arjun Singh has his way they will probably reserve seats for minority communities also.
The problem is simply this, we have nowhere near the number of good educational institutions and the ones that are good can’t find teachers – because teachers are paid peanuts. So what happens? Institutes like that belonging to the ponytail are allowed to flourish, where the philosophy is that, lets talk socialism and let me drive a Bentley. Irony is a delightful device isn’t it? The places where teachers want to join don’t allow them fair terms on outside consultancy jobs.
The students from AIIMS, IIT or IIM who do become teachers don’t become teachers in India. Come to think of it, at least Naresh Trehan did come back, so what if he became a superstar, as a doctor told me, the man ruled the institute with an iron fist and all said and done, Escorts didn’t have a high turnover of doctors, even recently.
But the issue remains, is India training enough doctors and specialists in any field for the demand that we have nowadays? The short answer is that we are not. I have always though of most media schools out there to be loads of crap, and most of the people that we end up taking from media courses tend to be quite ordinary.
I emphasise the term ‘most’, there are always some really good people, but of late as sheer rote-performance has become a performance barometer, quality has taken a downturn. But more importantly, even in media schools as the quality of teaching staff has taken a nose-dive, and that gets reflected in the quality of students.
Anyway, these are only my two paise for the day, I’ve been a bit busy of late so I haven’t been writing lately. Promise a bit more over the week.