Kerala doctors resent as leaders seek treatment abroad

Photo for representation.

Even as Kerala boasts of a health sector that received many national and international honours, many political leaders from the state, cutting across party lines, often prefer foreign treatment for their ailments. This has not gone down well with the doctors in Kerala.

After recent foreign treatments by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and former Chief Minister and AICC leader Oommen Chandy, Kerala CPM state secretary and former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan is now on a US trip for treatment.

The state medical fraternity strongly feels that political leaders seeking foreign treatment obviously sends wrong message about the state's medical facilities.

IMA Kerala chapter secretary Dr. N Sulphi said that even as health care was personal choice of every individual, when a political leader goes abroad for treatment the message it was giving  to the society was not right, especially if the treatment facility for the ailment is available here. At present treatment for most ailments were available here, he added.

Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association general secretary Dr. Vijayakrishnan G S also shared a similar view. Instead of leaders frequently going abroad for treatment, they should be trying to make available the best treatment facilities in Kerala so that the common man could avail it.

The frequent foreign treatment by top leaders also triggered debates on the social media with many asking the leaders to frankly tell the people why they were seeking treatment abroad.

While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had undergone 17-days treatment at Mayo Clinic in US last year for an undisclosed ailment, former Chief Minister and AICC leader had recently gone for treatment in the US, reportedly for throat ailment. AICC leader A K Antony and former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan are among the other prominent political leaders from Kerala who took treatment abroad, mostly US.

Dr. Suplhi said that one reason cited by some political leaders for seeking treatment abroad was privacy, which was true to certain extent.

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