Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 1519--1520

July 1 is National Doctors' Day: How to regain the lost public trust in healthcare – A different perspective

Javed Hussain Farooqui, Umang Mathur 
 Department of Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Javed Hussain Farooqui
Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, 5027, Kedarnath Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi

How to cite this article:
Farooqui JH, Mathur U. July 1 is National Doctors' Day: How to regain the lost public trust in healthcare – A different perspective.Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1519-1520

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Farooqui JH, Mathur U. July 1 is National Doctors' Day: How to regain the lost public trust in healthcare – A different perspective. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Aug 4 ];66:1519-1520
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We read with great interest the “letter to editor” by Pandey and Sharma in the previous issue of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology.[1] We complement them for their positive thoughts, something which is rare and much needed in today's atmosphere of mistrust toward the medical fraternity. The decline in trust of patients toward doctors can also be an effect of a mistrust that existing and aspirational doctors have in the medical system itself. Pandey and Sharma talk about decline in the number of medical aspirants wanting to take up medicine as a career option. We do not find that surprising, as the discrepancy between the number of applicants and the medical seats available is increasing by the year. The Medical Council of India has a total capacity to train 50,078 Indian medical graduates per year, and this figure decreases to 28,000 when we talk about postgraduate courses.[2],[3] Of these, 1,285 are ophthalmology seats (for a population of 1.3 billion).[4] On top of this, non-government institutes have a high fee structure, which is out of reach for most of the young aspirants. Young graduates are opting for other branches, and the ones who do decide to take up this noble profession usually face an uphill battle.

In India, we have a robust private and public healthcare system. Long working hours is the norm, and most doctors are used to this way of life. However, the patients equate doctors to the shortcomings of the hospital, whether public or private, because doctors are soft targets. Doctors have to bear the brunt and face the anger of patients' attendants, even when it is a system failure. Most of the hospitals, especially public hospitals, have a poor security system. Hence, many cases of mob violence have made it to the news in the past few months, but unfortunately there has not been even a single person who has been convicted in any of these cases. The public is made to believe that doctors are the culprits, and the administration is most often not held accountable. This makes us, as doctors, have reservations in trusting our system, which indirectly may affect doctor–patient relationship.

Finally, what worries us the most is that there is no talk and discussion about fixing the maximum medical negligence compensation, which is to be awarded by the courts. Just like the government is doing a wonderful task of standardizing the surgical costs across various specialties, similar initiatives should be taken to have guidelines in terms of what the doctor or the hospital has to do (or pay) in various medical negligence cases. There should be a cap to the maximum amount due in cases of medical negligence. In today's environment of mistrust and doctor bashing, it is best to come up with guidelines to safeguard doctors' interest.

Going forward, we would love to see better working conditions for doctors, more so in smaller towns and places with limited facilities. Working hours should be monitored and doctors should be encouraged to have a good work life–personal life balance by the hospital. Well-equipped security guards for hospitals and tougher laws for people manhandling hospital staff should be a universal rule. Better facilities for patients and doctors in public hospitals should be our constitutional right. India is the land of Sushruta; we gave the concept of cataract surgery to the world.[5] I look at our fraternity as innovators, not followers. To harbor doctor–patient trust, it is imperative that as doctors we trust the system first, which will automatically reflect in better relationship between doctors and patients. Let us not make our system so tough on ourselves that we lose good minds to “brain drain” and let us all work together toward a healthier, safer, and more prosperous India.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Pandey SK, Sharma V. July 1 is national doctors' day: How to regain the lost public trust in healthcare? Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1045-6.
2List of Colleges Teaching MBBS. Medical Council of India. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Jul 09].
3Ananthakrishnan N. Distribution of postgraduate medical seats in different disciplines: Is there rationality in decision-making? Natl Med J India 2011;24:365-7.
4Farooqui JH. Postgraduate training program in ophthalmology in India: What's lacking? J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2015;3:111-2.
5Roy PN, Mehra KS, Deshpande PJ. Cataract surgery performed before 800 B.C. Br J Ophthalmol 1975;59:171.