The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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LOOK BEFORE YOU CROSS: Volunteers on duty during Road Safety Week

A faulty system that spares those at fault

I was outraged to read about the schoolteacher who had to go through immense suffering and humiliation due to wrong treatment by his doctor (Mental therapy for brain tumour, Metro, February 4). Treating a brain tumor patient for ‘mental illness’ is an example of medical negligence of the worst kind. It is ironic that the neurosurgeon who pointed out the “malpractice” was also aware that these are not just “isolated” incidents. It only goes to show that measures against “malpractice” are non-existent in the country.

Along with the government, the entire medical fraternity will have to share the responsibility for the abysmal condition of healthcare. Why are the doctors, who commit such blatant errors, not punished' The physicians, like the neurosurgeon, who are aware of these medical crimes actually condone such actions by not raising their voices against these deplorable acts.

In the US, doctors are sued routinely even for minor medical errors. In fact, too many frivolous “malpractice” lawsuits against physicians have already had a negative effect in escalating the cost of healthcare in the US. In this regard, India stands at the opposite end of the scale where errant doctors roam scot-free as “malpractice” lawsuits are virtually non-existent. While neither of these extremes are ideal, there can be no dispute that the medical system in India has brought down the value of human lives almost to a disgraceful “non-human” level.

A brain tumor patient treated as a “psychiatric problem” in the US is guaranteed to win a huge compensation. Unfortunately for the poor teacher in Garia, there will be no such solace. Like the countless victims of medical negligence all over the country, he will only have his own fate to blame for the rest of his life.

Dr Kunal Saha,

Asst. Professor, Dept. of Paediatrics, Children’s Hospital Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Unsafe streets

Apropos the report ‘Safety week toll mounts’ (Metro, January 18), it is distressing to learn that several people died in road accidents in the city during Road Safety Week. With the boom in population and vehicles, road mishaps are increasing. Both drivers and pedestrians should be more alert.

Prahlad Agarwala,


Not a stray effort

My compliments for summing up the issue so succinctly (Stray check to prevent rabies, Metro, January 20). I would like to clarify that several groups came forward to help with the ABC/AR program, when it was started in early 1996. They have undertaken operations, as per their capacity, with financial assistance from the government of India. If more groups or individuals came forward for the adoption of this programme, it would surely expedite the benefits of all concerned.

Maneka Gandhi,

MP, Lok Sabha.

lThat People for Animals “is feeling the strain of going it a alone” regarding the sterilisation and vaccination of street dogs in Calcutta is not true. There are several NGOs in the city which are doing commendable work in holding down the street dog population by neutering them and safe-guarding public health by immunising them against rabies. People for Animals has not solely been given the charge of managing the city’s stray dog population. The mortality rate is also low in these clinics.

Sona Murshed,

Friends of Dogs, Calcutta.

Justice delayed

Apropos the report ‘Clerk in 22-year wait for justice’ (Metro, January 21), it is beyond imagination how in a civilised society a judgment on a fraudulent charge can be kept deferred for 22 years. If Diptendra Roy Choudhury is found not guilty, who will compensate him' The blame for this lies squarely on the CBI, which took so long to gather evidence.

Piyal Mukherjee,

Lake Town.

Siblings on song

The story of the two sisters, Suchismita and Debopriya Chatterjee, made for an interesting read. (Siblings in duet, with guruji for guidance, Metro, January 17). Kudos to them for entering what has been a male bastion.

Mohan Lal Sarkar,

Budge Budge.

Wrong count

In ‘Space research receives a Big Bang’ (Metro, January 20), Dr Supriya Chakrabarti, director of the Centre for Space Physics, Boston University, was misquoted as saying that the Big Bang suggests that the universe came into being around 16 million years ago. According to the theory, the universe was created around 15 billion years ago.

Malay De Sarkar,

Gol Park.

Capital move

The Calcutta University council has done the right thing by proposing extra time and tools for the handicapped (Grace for special students, Metro, January 17).

Govinda Bakshi,

Budge Budge.

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