Tuesday 31 December 2013

Author(s): Sayantan Bera

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  • This is a particularly

    This is a particularly well-written article. The contrast between the west and India is amply illustrated, though one might want to know the situation in countries like Japan and Singapore, or the upcoming superpower China. How does Cuba do in this respect? This is not to say the article had to have all these information (if it actually had, it would no longer have been an article, but a wikipedia entry, so to say), but a few links here and there would certainly have helped.

    Now, coming to India's situation. What does the MCI think about it? Does the central ministry of health recognize that medical photography has to be an integral part of the medical procedure? If no, and if the doctor community, by large, believes that it is indeed important, there should be an orchestrated pressure on the government from the community itself. If even doctors are reluctant to have a photographer inside the OT (for various reasons, as implied in this article) the society has to exert pressure. Mainstream media have a big role to play here. This article is sort of a pioneering effort in that sense. I hope the mainstream media pick the thread up and start probing deep into the issue.

    The article mentions that apart PGI Chandigarh, no medical school even plans to offer a course in medical photography. This can indeed be taken care by the market. If the government makes it mandatory to have a photographer inside the OT whenever a procedure takes place, there will be a demand in the industry. The sheer lack in supply would certainly drive up the wage rate and that will see a surge in the number of students willing to take this up as their profession. The existing institutes will then start offering this course and new institutes will come up. Hence, it is imperative to take the government on board if medical photography needs to be a regular practice.

    There might be some apprehension and even reluctance at the patients' end. Photography, after all, is an invasion of their privacy. But so are procedures like USG, colonoscopy and endoscopy, to name a few. The surgery is in itself a severe invasion. We, as patients, do not object to that because we know for sure that these are integral to the treatment. It's mainly a mindset issue. If medical photography is indeed in the interest of patients and the medical science in general, I doubt whether anyone, barring a handful, would have any objection to it.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 2 years ago | Reply
  • Amitava, thanks much for your

    Amitava, thanks much for your detailed comment and interest in the story. Honestly, I did not look into the state of medical photography, say in Cuba or China, but mainly concentrated on EU, US and the NHS in UK. It would definitely be interesting to know the situation on other countries. Say, if China is documenting its rich heritage in traditional medicine. Medical photography must be in vogue in South Korea due to its obsession with plastic surgery!

    As for India, the possibilities are immense. Its time we work on our visual record keeping- and as you rightly said, patients will not object. They are already subjected to a lot of intrusive procedures. I feel the onus now is on medical practitioners and administrators to argue for it. The media can play a role in awareness and increasing the acceptability of medical photography, but government institutions like MCI and union ministry of health has to take a lead.

    Posted by: Sayantan Bera | 2 years ago | Reply
  • A very lucid and readable

    A very lucid and readable piece.Hope we have more of the breed in India. I think, instead of being an invasion of privacy, OT images can be really empowering for patients. They can serve a role similar to the RTI!Just imagine, if a patient or her relatives had the legal right to access the images of a botched operation.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 2 years ago | Reply
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