mid-day editorial: Let's get rid of VIP culture everywhere

By  mid-day correspondent | Mumbai | Posted  10-May-2017

It is a mockery of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi's Every Person is Important (EIP) mantra, that the dean of KEM Hospital issued a list of 40 VIPs, who will get preferential treatment at BMC hospitals.

The circular issued recently states categorically to give preferential treatment to politicians and statesmen as well as patients accompanied by them. The circular adds that these VIPs should be treated on a priority basis. The justification for this is that corporators were cribbing about how they had to wait in queues.

There is also a mixing up of deference and preference. While the former may be okay, the latter is not, as it means a bias is not only in place but given sanction by the higher ups. It is shocking that this is explained so matter of factly. It makes all the claims about levelling the playing field, or moving towards a more egalitarian society, just a lot of hogwash.

This directive comes even as doctors and patients have made a brittle peace. Just a couple of months ago, doctors had gone on a massive strike, after a student doctor was attacked by patients' relatives. The strike was symptomatic of all the problems lurking underneath in civic hospitals.

While there is no justification for violence, these hospitals have reached boiling point. There are too many patients and medical personnel cannot cope. As a result, frustration levels have increased, the public feels shortchanged, and overall tempers are running high and fuses are short.

Owing to the shortage, patients have to wait for hours for treatment, and this circular will only stretch the waiting period. Those with no political connections come very low in the pecking order so to speak.

Let us do away with VIP culture everywhere. Otherwise removal of red beacons and phrases like Every Person Is Important will remain mere tokenisms.

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