Tamil talk show berates unethical medical practices, docs protest
news Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 22, 2014 | 08:05 am IST A popular Tamil TV show has irked doctors across the state after it aired a programme that focused on unethical medical practices. Many associations of doctors have protested and raised slogans criticizing the show of attempting to misrepresent health issues and public health programmes offered by the government of Tamil Nadu.Â Neeya Naana, a prime-time TV show aired every Sunday telecast a show on the subject â€˜Doctors vs Publicâ€™ where members of the public aired their experiences and berated doctors for prescribing unnecessary tests and treatments.Â A series of protests accusing the anchor and the channel of distorting facts regarding diagnosis and procedures like ultrasound scans for pregnant women were carried out. Accused of being one-sided, the show allowed individuals to discuss negative effects of ultrasound scans on the newborn baby. According to the Times of India, a complaint filed by the Intern and Post-graduate Association of Tamil Nadu sought action against the programme co-ordinators. The complaint stated, "There is no scientific evidence to this. Tamil Nadu government offers three free scans to pregnant women in an attempt to reduce mortality rates. It is an essential test which has brought down the incidence of maternal mortality. But this show has caused confusion among people. It will put children and women at risk."Â Dr. Suresh, one of the six doctors who signed the complaint told TOI, "Some valid points were raised (on the show), but they were never discussed in detail. Members of the public gave wrong information, and it was aired. Some valid points raised by doctors were edited out. This can be extremely dangerous. It will damage the crucial doctor-patient relationship and can cause serious law and order problems," While several healthcare activists and a section of doctors agreed that the basic issue of corruption and unethical medical practices exist, the six doctors believed that master health checkups offered under the TN Health Systems project are meant to prevent diseases like cervical cancer, breast cancer, blood pressure, and heart diseases.Â Recently Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardan has promised to refer the issue of doctors getting commissions and cuts to the ethics committee of the Medical Council of India, a body he had himself referred to as "a big source of corruption."