15 April 2013

Tanzania: Medical Doctors Must Respect Ethics


A RESEARCH made by the 'Sunday News' recently established that some medical doctors in the country are not sensitive to the welfare of their patients and do not respect professional ethics.

This scenario has thrown them into disrepute. Some medical centres are reportedly notorious for mistreating patients, especially the terminally ill.

This is a stink in the profession that smells to High Heaven, just to put it mildly. In these centres the desperately ill are, invariably, told to pay dearly or perish. The most critical problem is encountered in so-called private health clinics.

It is, however, on record that some accusing fingers have been pointed at state dispensaries, health centres and referral hospitals that harbour "very cold medical hearts." Unfortunately, it is difficult for the uninitiated to see the difference between a competent, genuine medical doctor and a quack who dupes patients and their minders into paying for wrong or unnecessary medicines or other medical paraphernalia.

Medical workers are supposed to be custodians of the human race -- not the pathological destroyers of it. Patients need heartfelt compassion from medical workers. Some patients die because they fail to afford the inflated prices of medicines.

Others perish because they are offered wrong medication. Some of those who survive end up in abject poverty and may not live for long. The stark fact that not many of us can tell the difference between a genuine medical doctor and a quack is a real canker.

A medical doctor is a professional who carries a university degree in medicine. It is unthinkable that someone else should grab this title. Even very minor medical hands such as trainee nurses, hospital cooks and messengers are treated with veneration by desperate patients who address them as 'doctor.'

Some of these workers capitalise on such mischance to extort money from ignorant patients. Even Standard Seven leavers with a few months of First Aid training are addressed as 'doctor' in private health clinics. Some of the First Aid hands we see have no medical skills apart from dressing wounds or administering jabs quite precariously. We are concerned that the medical profession has already gone to the dogs.

And this is indeed, quite unfortunate. Greedy doctors and pretenders can be more dangerous to health than diseases such as malaria, typhoid and AIDS combined. It is time the rot was stemmed. These dangerous quacks should be flushed out.

Copyright © 2013 Tanzania Daily News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.