Women and children tend to be the worst affected victims of HIV and AIDS for the most part. It is disgusting when people take the women and children and demonize them for being HIV+. This is not new for India. When the children of HIV+ patients turned out to be HIV+ in Kerala, the parents of other children in the school took up a disgusting approach to the whole issue. The idiots acted just like the adjective I chose to describe them.
This recent incident, which happened in a Government Hospital in Jamnagar is extremely disturbing to say the least. There was once a time when I used to think that Doctors who practiced medicine commanded the highest echelons of respect and admiration. Disillusionment, as they say, can be a bitch. What with physicians and surgeons faking data and research, and now this...
A plan of action
The Indian Government needs to be very affirmative and strict about this. Unnecessary, misplaced belief systems and activism cannot be luxuries India can afford. Before the Indian medical practice also becomes infested with religious beliefs and other nonsense (yes, it's nonsense if you bring Jesus, Krishna or your favorite anti-abortion god to work with you) in the US, it is possible to stem the flow:
1. Medical practice must come with a strict licensing. If the license is suspended, then the physician/surgeon cannot practice. Of course, only the judiciary system and the medical board should be allowed to touch the licenses.
2. Religious beliefs and other systemic/cult based moral beliefs should not be permitted to allow a physician/surgeon/healthcare professional violate basic tenets, principles, guidelines and required acts of practice.
3. Licensing for practice should not be the burden of Doctors alone. Nursing, hospital administrators and others alike need to be held to appropriate licensing standards.
4. "Government" Hospitals need to lead by example. The Indian public has never received what can be deemed "Quality" care from Government Hospitals as such. In this day and age when India wants it's footprint recognized as a Global leader, this is simply not acceptable. These hospitals need to strive to the highest International standards of care. This is very much un-Utopian and achievable if acts like those that occured in Jamnagar are punished such that no sane person would try to repeat them if they wish to safeguard any professional future to their careers.
5. With specificity to HIV and AIDS, what the Indian Government does is criminal enough that we should let everyone currently in Parliament go... A paradigm shift (and no, I am not an MBA, so this phrase is being used with meaning) needs to take place. Nonsensical protests by parents against HIV+ children, any form of derision and parading must be met with fines and jail time alike. Wherever possible, if such protests and parading are performed by Government officials, they need to be unemployable by the Indian Government from that point forward automatically. If private firms act in a complicit manner to such acts of parading and disparagement, to the degree that they were complicit, their legal and physical existence must come into paucity.
Without such well marked moves, the Indian Government will be achieving nothing. If the "activists" really want to achieve something, they need to take this act to the Indian Parliament for attention - yesterday!
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