June 05, 2010

Vox pops on sensitive issues

What do you do when a cardiologist at a well known hospital insists that your dad has to undergo an angiogram without waiting for the results of the preliminary tests and you begin to have doubts about the consultation?

And you soon get feedback that the doctor likes to take his patients to the operation theatre?

First, you seek an alternative and save your dad from an ordeal. Two, you warn others of dangers that lurk in our hospitals, however reputed they claim to be.

Earlier this week, I received a mail from a person who said he had a tense time at a city hospital. The mail detailed his unnerving experience and the things he had to do to get out of the situation.

Obviously, this mail was doing the rounds of all those who were on the correspondent’s contact list.

How does one handle issues that relate to medical services which are sensitive and complex?

How do we brief people on our ‘experiences’ at hospitals and clinics when we have to deal with ‘grey areas’?

You can take the serious issues to court.

But what about basic issues that bother us at hospitals, banks, temples and police stations?

Today, the Net provides the space and medium to highlight these issues as and when they happen. Also, they reach a larger number of people and sensitises them to slack services, hefty billings, crafty schemes or shoddy work.

When our readers write to us on such issues, we publish the letters that touch on broader issues which we think affect the lives of the community.

There must be some space for vox pops.

Banks, hospitals and state agencies certainly do not take kindly to the publication of such issues.

‘Had it been brought to our notice we could have easily handled it.’ This is what many would say.

Today though, lots more is being communicated on the Net. And some of it is shaping opinion and impacting on the people, businesses or agencies they are critical of. Especially when the observation is genuine and reasonable.

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