I met my friend Arin at the local Starbucks. His father who had been ill for quite some time, passed away recently. The last time I asked, he was battling stomach complications introduced as a result of an antibiotics treatment. So it was a surprise to me that the cause of death was attributed to Alzheimer's! What was going on? Apparently the geniuses at the Calcutta hospital had mistaken Arin's father's disorientation for Alzheimer's and then refused to treat the stomach complications.
Arin is however resigned to his fate and will not be suing the hospital. This is a sad example of public policy failures impinging on the individual's safety and wellbeing. Calcutta and the West Bengal state has been in the spotlight for a number of medical scandals whether it be infant deaths or a deadly hospital fire. Rather than being restricted to a handful of doctors or hospitals, the malaise runs deeper. India's creaking and often nonfunctional legal system ensures that complainants will have to wait for decades to get a favorable judgement. Errant doctors and hospitals thus go unpunished. The remaining few good ones soon realize that they cannot compete with the bad apples in profitability. After all the bad guys do not have to invest in good facilities or fire safety systems. The environment thus ends up weeding out the good ones and propagating the bad ones.
Then one fine day all hell breaks loose. Fingers are pointed at all directions. The politicians shed crocodile tears over the sad state of affairs. The legal fraternity does their bit by beating their chests. Never mind the fact it is precisely these lawyers who delay justice by repeatedly seeking case adjournments. And so the circus goes on while innocents like Arin are fed to the lions.