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Friday, February 20, 2015

Doctors Union

It was in the nineties ,

We were running a clinic in Cochin west, for more than 10 years then and we had reasonably busy practice.

Strangely We were one among the many couple doctors who practiced in the same area, yet to know why so many couple doctors were attracted to the place

Palluruthy is a thickly populated middle and lower class locality with a sprinkling of upper class  and hence many of us had very busy practice

Most of our patients used to think we doctors keep among ourselves specially since we were all competing for the same clientele but it was nothing of the sort,

we were all quite close and used to meet often laughing at the common tribulations we went through in our day to day practice ,there was no rat race at all and we even went for short picnics together on and off ,some among them are still our closest friends .

Family medicine is a bit different from hospital practice one needs lot of communication, patience empathy and listening and in turn one receives trust

I had written earlier on this


To make the story short our bete noirs were the local small time political pests who made a beeline to the clinic whenever they needed money as to everyone squeezing a doctor was a fair proposition especially in Kerala

Malayalee’s in general probably fed by their breast milk of trade unionism felt Doctors to be bourgeois and it was all right to squeeze one when it was opportune .

So every other day small coterie of mundu or lungi clad inveterate would barge in between patients never waiting in line with an officious look on their vacant faces

We had to bear these mosquitos as much as we had to the real ones in Cochin

We learn to grin at both

“ Daktar , so busy , I see making lot of money from all our poor sick is it? “

One of the morons would ask while the others would wear their imbecile looks

“I thought I was treating them “ me  

“ Oh whatever anyhow daktar we have our state committee meet coming up ,

have you heard about it ? “

As if one could not live without hearing of this earth shaking event

“ Well haven’t actually but saw several posters and assumed it should be one of those “

“ Never belittle our revolutionary conferences my dear doctor we decide on how you all should live”

This was delivered with a hint of….. don’t be smart guy ….in it ?

“ Oh yes I can see that “

He continued with a frown on his face

“So how much should I write the receipt for is it two thousand or five ?”

“ Oh don’t you have receipts of   hundreds ?”

“We may but it is not for your ilk who regularly milk the working class of their blood just because they have some fevers “

 “Oh and I thought I remember you coming and thanking me for  making your child with primary complex better last October now its only fever is it ?or is he not having working class blood ? “ me

That made him quiet

He just wrote a two thousand rupee receipt collected the money and walked off with his sorry flock of parasites


So this was the routine not only for our clinic but for every doctor in that area

We decided to do something about this and planned to start an organization to pay them back with their own medicine

We decided to call it Palluruthy  Doctors forum ….PDF in short and as UDF and LDF the two main parties were known to even babies PDF would be easy for their small minds to grasp

We even registered it and made official bye laws etc

We hung a notice in every members clinic stating that as members of PDF from now on no donations can be given by its members individually unless it was below 20 Rupees and that all donation seekers should send an application which would be discussed in the following executive committee which met once in 2 or 3 months and decision would be made to give from the common fund ,any harassment of individual members would  be opposed by the organization

All very legal and high sounding and written to impress in the language those nincompoops would understand

The next time the same group came for a collection I just pointed to the board and also handed him a copy of the same
“Oh so you doctors became clever is it ?”

“Oh no how can we? when you are all around we just following your footsteps to organize “
“In fact we are planning to have a state working committee next month how much would your party give ?”

This shocked the idiot
“Doctor we need donation now how long will it take ?”

“ Maybe two or three months we people unlike you are quite busy you know and we have no time to meet often so next meeting we will deliberate on your application and maybe give you something after say 6 months “

“ But if it is twenty rupees I can give you now “

He grinned foolishly
“Ok doctor after all you serve the poor so you can give that twenty no problem “

Yes I know every paisa is needed for you guys to go straight to your toddy shop I thought

And thus ended our harassment
We still laugh over those CDF days


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