Imagine a world with no modern medical science no matter what is said against it.
Had Edward Jenner not discovered vaccine against smallpox hundreds of thousands would have died of the dreaded disease every year.Imagine a world without Alexander Fleming's discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin!(we may argue about India having ideas about inoculation against diseases or about the soil containing some thing with which infections could be cured(look at Wikipedia,i can provide link if any one is interested)
Whether it is antibiotics or vaccines , insulins, anti hypertensives, hormones,antivirals or the surgical procedures,the list is endless for the invention of which we stand at the feet of modern medical science.
Since the beginning of human existence in India thousands of years ago till about 1930
the population of India was about 300 millions.It jumped to 1.2 billions in 2009 in spite of the population control measures.
The most sensitive health index-the infant mortality rate which was around 345 per 1000 live births in 1940 came down to around 15 to 25(lowest in Kerala and higher in states like Bihar).Maternal mortality came down to less than one per thousand deliveries.Diseases like Polio were almost eradicated with smallpox being totally eradicated from the face of the earth.Life expectancy at birth increased from 40 years in 1940 to 67 years today.It is no coincidence that this happened as the modern medicine developed the above mentioned tools like drugs and surgical procedures.
The much maligned Cesarean operation has reduced the incidence of would be mother dying at delivery to almost zero.And the greatest culprit of all as the various reports in the media would suggest,cardiac surgery has increased the quality of life of people who have had cardiac problem.
One may claim diseases like diabetes and heart ailments are on the increase.Yes,that is not because of medicine but because of reason beyond the control of doctors in the sense that the people themselves are responsible.Changed lifestyle is the primary reason for this spectacular increase.But it is still modern medicine that can do something to keep these under control and the patient from harms way.
I know defenders of alternate system of medicine will be at my throat for this,but let me assure you, without modern medicine which I refuse to call allopathy,we would be miserable.
There will be this matter to argue-modern medicine is too commercial.Yes,then which system is not?The basic idea behind practicing what you study is to earn a living.Just because I happened to study medicine i can not go for social service with no concern for my stomach.One can not work on empty one.
Whenever a new disease is discovered the market is flooded with cures from quacks and from alternate systems.And the discovery is by modern medicine and the miracle cure from the alternate system!If this is not because of commercial reason then what is? At least modern medicine is held responsible for commissions and omissions,alternate system is not.
Recently in this part of India we had an epidemic of chikungunya.We,practitioners of modern medicine know exactly what it is and how it can be managed.But no,we need this half baked systems telling us how to manage that particular problem!This year we have some cases of viral fever and again the press and these very same people are at it again.
OK,we have no proper cure for each viral disease(We do have anti viral treatment for many a virus) but if any branch of medicine can handle it modern medicine can.For the simple reason that it is the discovery of this system.
The so called defenders of Indian system including some Swamijis talk about the superiority of Indigenous medical practice being safe for all ailments!Without basic understanding of the issues involved they advocate the methods that suits their ulterior motives. And do you believe any medicine is free from side effects?Don't,because above normal even daily food has side effects.Try eating a couple of hundred grams of the commonly used Garlic!Or even quarter Kg. of sugar!
Do you know most of these practitioners use drugs like antibiotics and alarmingly, very potent steroids,of which they hardly have any knowledge, to achieve dramatic cures in all these viral disease?Isn't there any adverse outcome?Certainly there are but they go unreported!The reason is simple,
You know you have been foolish enough to approach quacks or people who are not supposed to use these drugs and you will hardly admit it was disastrous.And the person responsible is no way harmed.
In contrast if the outcome is adverse if a qualified person is involved people gang up and the person is harassed even if he did everything that could be done.People jump into concluding how greedy and careless the doctor was and so on and so forth.Newspapers immediately jump into the fray to condemn the person involved.What do these people know about modern medicine?Nothing.But they do have an opinion no matter what.
But ultimately it is the modern medicine that has the last laugh because it is the only system that tries to understand diseases.Modern medicine has description if not cure for all ailments.
The so called practitioners of alternate system study it not because they want to, but because of their inability to study modern medicine as the opportunity in India is limited.To establish a modern medical school it requires an elaborate infrastrucure in contrast to alternate system.The so called institutes teaching alternate systems are so numerous I wonder from where they even get faculty to teach!
Think about a patient with chest pain going to an Ayurvrdic physician.He is immediately sent to a cardiologist.That is when common sense should dictate that you go to a qualified modern medical practitioner for your needs.And if he decides it is nothing serious one can get treated by any system.
The standard explanation handed out by these alternate system is that for emergency modern medicine is needed and then they can take over.Why?Once the emergency is past there is no need for other system to take over.
In fact the proper alternate is that one should practice what is taught during studying and nothing else.And people with no qualification should be barred from declaring themselves"doctor"
The common man has to be vigilant.