Of late, the doctor-patient relationship in the country has hit an all-time low. There are some cases which still inspire our hope and trust in doctors. One such case involves a young doctor, who serves in a semi-rural area near Pune, who went out of his way to treat an old woman with heart disease.
He not only drove his patient to her village, when he understood that it was risky for her to go by herself. He also ensured that she was successfully operated at Pune’s Sassoon Hospital.
Chagubai Dhebe, (45), an illiterate poor woman had been wrongly treated for asthma since the last 15 years.
“When she came to me, she complained about pain and informed that she was getting treatment for asthma since last 15 years. When I checked her heart with the help of stethoscope, I came to know that wasn’t asthma. The sound that I heard after checking her made me realise that she had a serious condition. Upon this, I immediately gave her an injection,” said Dr Gopal Gawade, a gynaecologist who works in Donge Phata, which is in the peripheral area of Pune.
On knowing that she had come to the clinic alone, he decided to drop her at her house. She walked all the way from a remote village called Glewadi.
“It was risky for her to go walking to her home again. I drove her to her village. It was 2 kms from my clinic. I drove my patient through a remote are surrounded by dense forest. In such an area, there are very few doctors catering to healthcare needs of the people,” said Gawade.
Dhebe lives in a small hut. The doctor made her husband aware of the critical condition she was in. He then referred her to one of the diagnostic centre in Pune.
“Her report mentioned critical mitral stenosis with valve surface area of 0.5 square cm. I was surprised to know that she was working in the fields in such a condition,” he mentioned.
Dr Gawade then called his friend, a cardiologist working at government hospital in Pune. She was referred to Sassoon hospital in Pune.
Dr Hemant Kokane, a cardiologist at the hospital who operated on her said, “We carried out a balloon valvoltomy procedure on her. She did not know what she went through. There are still doctors who go beyond the business of making money and who are sensitive towards the patient’s needs.”
Last week, Dhebe, visited Dr Gawade to thank him for what he did for her. She still believes that she was treated for asthma. “Only because you took special interest in my case that I have recovered from my asthma. I am happy that I can work in the fields now,” said Dhebe upon meeting the doctor.
Dr Gawade said, “How much money do you need in life? The demands of this profession are beyond money. I do not force any patient to pay me the particular amount, I leave it for the patient to decide, as the majority here are poor and their healthcare needs are no different than those who can afford to pay any amount.”