‘Like everyone, I wanted to succeed. I dreamed of becoming a famous medical research scientist; I dreamed of working indefatigably to discover something which would be used to help humanity, but which signified a personal triumph for me.’ ‘ Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident’.
‘Then I realized a fundamental thing: For one to be a revolutionary doctor or to be a revolutionary at all, there must first be a revolution……..The principle upon which the fight against disease should be based is the creation of a robust body; but not the creation of a robust body by the artistic work of a doctor upon a weak organism; rather the creation of a robust body with the work of the whole collectivity, upon the entire social collectivity.
Some day, therefore, medicine will have to convert itself into a science that serves to prevent disease and orients the public toward carrying out its medical duties…. Our task now is to orient the creative abilities of all medical professionals toward the tasks of social medicine. The task of educating and feeding youngsters, task of distributing the lands of the former absentee landlords to those who laboured every day upon that same land without receiving its benefits, are accomplishments of social medicine.”
From Today onwards, I vow to be a part of this entire social collectivity & to orient my abilities towards ‘ Social Medicine’ Someway or the other, we are all carrying the legacy of these timeless words by Che Guevara. The frustration of being nothing more than another cog in the giant machine often kicks in and with the government treating the occupation like glorified indentured servants, the support system is also absent. Without realising our collective responsibilities in light of the socio-economic scene, we’ll always be fighting a losing battle against subsidized private healthcare, austerity policies and widespread inequality.
On this Doctor’s Day, we urge everyone to recognize the bigger picture of what we are up against so that it not only enables us to equip ourselves in the fight but also organise ourselves for the larger battle on the streets. Happy Doctor’s Day to all.