Medical Care


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Millions of people medically fall ill all the year round. The illness may be due to a general sweeping illness such as the Coronavirus disease (COVID 19). This illness may have travelled from one country to another. Illness may sometimes be due to excessive rainfall in some region and resultant disease that grips not just an individual or a family but a community of people affected by rain and mosquitoes etc.

The impact of illness is severe in many rural or semi-urban regions of India which do not have sufficient facilities in terms of doctors, medical staff and equipment and necessary infrastructure. The people who fall ill have to depend on ill equipped hospitals with insufficient beds and nursing staff.

Fortunately, the situation in towns is usually much better. India has several hospitals or clinics in these urban centres to which ill people rush to get treatment for the various types of disease and to obtain necessary medicines. In many urban centres there are government hospitals, doctors and nurses etc who attend to the sick people. The cost of cure in these hospitals is quite reasonable even in several private hospitals that attract ill people for cure from the towns or neighbouring regions .

In fact, one can see several ill people from neighbouring countries   coming  to these hospitals since they don’t have adequate facilities in their own countries. They come to these hospitals and clinics to avail of the facilities at reasonable cost in these institutions.

Sometimes, many people like myself go to these institutions to avail of the medical advice and medicines that are prescribed. It is interesting, to say the least, to watch how ill people accompanied by another person, throng to avail of medical facilities — advice and medicines at these institutions.

One can see some women who come for treatment, are accompanied by their small children who follow their mothers wherever they have to go . The children obviously don’t know why their mothers have come to these hospitals but as children they try to help their mothers — in holding on to the bulky bags and bringing a glass of water when needed.

In fact, there are some Muslim women who are ill and have come to these places for treatment. They are dressed in typical Muslim dress. Some are dressed from top to bottom in the Muslim burqua. Some wear a hijab without the burqaOnly when they speak to a man who may be their husband or to the children or help them, dthey partly show their face. One does not have to state that some people are watching them — it is natural to observe them.

Usually, such institutions are fairly crowded by the sick people or by those who are accompanying them. Often chairs are all full and only when some person vacates a chair does another person — ill or accompanying an ill person, gets to sit on a chair.

The sight in such institutions is somewhat painful, but also interesting to watch.

Since I myself had gone to the hospital for meeting a doctor to take care of my illness, it was natural to be there and watch what was going on among the ill people or those accompanying them. I was wondering what had been my fault to fall sick and come to a hospital for treatment.  Somehow, I felt that if we had been careful, we would not have fallen ill. A good thought but the fact is otherwise. We are ill not because of any shortcoming on our part but because illness and disease are natural for all — people as well as other creatures.

Despite the different thoughts engaging my mind, the fact is that I have fallen ill and need good treatment for cure. Yes, thoughts are interesting but first I need to become healthy and various accompanying thoughts and ideas can be considered later.

OK, bye for now.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Oct 2023.

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