Recently I was at the Chemist when I overheard a really interesting conversation. The cell phone rings, the chemist picks it up, and after the initial introduction I hear sentences such as – “So you have vomit sensation, what else?”, “Do you have stomach ache?”, “Any other symptoms?”, “Okay I’ll suggest <some medicine names>, send someone to collect it” – each of the sentence spoken by the chemist. The person has some minor problems, instead of going to the doctor; he calls up the neighbourhood chemist, asks him for the medicines and buys it from him. Where did the doctor disappear?
When I was in college, along with Parivesh (his parents are doctors), I (my father is a doctor) used to have a box full of medicines. Those medicines have helped us on numerous occasions; the doctor would come only for an hour sporadically – so we were sought after regularly. We had become the pseudo-doctors in the absence of real doctors in the campus.
Have the GPs (General Practitioners) lost their value in a big city ala Hyderabad? In Raipur (not yet a big city), a GP is not hard to find; but in Hyderabad a GP is rare. I keep on seeing boards of specialists everywhere I see, but no General Practitioner, no doctor where you can just go and say I have fever or stomach ache or cold & cough. Either you have to be sick enough to see some specialist, or you are not sick – that seems to be the mantra these days.
No wonder the chemist is taking the place of General Practitioners…