Stay Healthy With Politics of Medicine

Dr. Militant: I say mister, you are just an idiotic patient. Do not stray into fields you do not know about anything. Just take what the doctor ordered. But doctor how many panadols should I take when I have a hangover? I hear you want to restrict that too. If you cannot tell me I will have to ask Dr. Mervyn Silva and go in for acupuncture? Should I cook in coconut oil or palm oil? Use CPC (Petroleum Corporation) oil, the doctor thundered.

l by Gamini Weerakoon

(March 11, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Medical consultant Dr. Militant Deshapremi looked hard at my clinical reports and then glared at me.
‘You people are killing yourselves, my country and our government,’ he barked.
Am I killing people and the government? Dr. Militant Deshapremi is a dedicated patriot and a passionate supporter of the Rajapakse regime. ‘Your life style is draining the scarce, valuable, precious foreign exchange reserves— our President and Central Bank governor are trying to conserve— with your whisky guzzling. You are a burden on the health system of the country and you whisky drinking types along with NGOs are attempting a regime change, Dr. Militant charged.
Am I killing people? I thought people were killed by some other people. That I thought was the fuss now on in Geneva all about. Operation successful but patient died Traitor! Dr. Militant charged. We did not kill anyone. It was a Humanitarian Operation all along— the first Humanitarian War in history! Your NGO types and foreign forces distorted it.
You mean, as you doctors say: ‘Operation successful but patient died?’Now you say 8000 of them. Quite a jump from Zero to 8000.
Dr. Militant looked at me with disdain.
If you do nOt shut up what happened to the patients will happen to you. He went back to my medical reports. About my whisky guzzling? That was in the good old days. With thepresent state of affairs, I cannot even afford a soda. Besides all whisky available in Colombo is smuggled—no stress on the Central Bank at all. And whisky is overflowing at Casinos, run by ‘you know who,’ I told the doctor.
The doctor appeared reluctant to probe bootlegging and casinos and went back to my medical reports.Why thinking people drink You people are thought of as educated people but do you think? Have not you heard the words of that French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes: ‘Cogito Ergo Sum?’ The doctor translated it for me: ‘I think therefore I am’.
Flippancy has been my weak point even in my school days: ‘I think therefore I drink ’, I said, giving a variation to the Cartesian expression for the reason for existence.
Dr. Militant was not amused. He turned the pages of my report and said: Look at you lipid profile—Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglycerides all at record levels. Are you trying to establish new medical records for the Guinness book? You are a diabetic. You will drop dead one of these days, he said, with smug satisfaction.
I pointed out that I as an atheist, without the power of gods, dashing coconuts in holy places and not being seen on TV at sacred places with the high and mighty had passed the Biblical Age— Three Score and Ten whereas some of my good friends— strict teetotallers, vegetarians, impeccable moralists, loving fathers, faithful husbands etc. etc. started dropping out from the living since their thirties.
Red rice or bread Only the good die young, Dr. Militant cracked and added that my luck would not hold for long. What do you eat, rice or bread? Claiming that every sensible person ate red rice and not bread. he said that President Mahinda Rajapakse had declared that come what may, he would eat only red rice and asked one and all to eat red rice Is that because the price of bread had gone up and people cannot afford bread while the Yanks are cutting out PL480 supplies?
Do not be stupid, he is from the Ruhuna and he with his brothers always eat Sinhala hale buth, like Dutu Gemunu and his ten giants.
But doctor if there is a drought and there is a shortage of rice will the medical profession say that eating red rice is bad and bread instead will be good? With price of red rice also rising some doctors have recommended that eating manioc was good to prevent the spread of cancer and Bathala for diabetes. Earlier they were considered deadly poisons. Now the price of manioc and bathala had quadrupled in weeks.
Dr. Militant Deshapriya was mad at me for casting aspersions at his profession. Doctors are not hired hacks to make dietary recommendations on market fluctuations he claimed.
However, we recalled that 60 years ago our dear grandmother who was a diabetic was given stern warnings by doctors not to eat rice but to eat only bread which she hated. The poor lady died longing for red rice but now red rice is OK and she certainly would have loved eating bathala and mangnokka (manioc). So was it for coconut oil. Do not eat food cooked in coconut oil they warned and we readily took to imported palm oil but now we are being told to go for coconut oil. Is this kind of medical politics being supportive of Mahinda Chintanaya and promoting local produce? Will we be saving foreign exchange using coconut oil, eating ala-bathala? Foreign exchange being saved on using coconut oil was not his concern but claimed that anti government traitors, foreign NGOs and representatives of American imperialism were making moves to drain Sri Lanka’s foreign exchanges reserves bone dry and bring about a regime change.
But we were told by our dapper Central Bank governor only a few months ago that the foreign exchange reserves were as good as never before. We even wanted to stage the Commonwealth Games which would have cost billions of dollars. Who then cleaned out the Central Bank? Central Bank reserves were there, but anti Rajapakse pro imperialist supporters were attempting to drain the bank of its reserves, the doctor argued Was it true that most of the drugs imported were not needed and were being issued to patients by medical mudalalies in collaboration with drug companies? The government could save billions in foreign exchange by doing away with import of all drugs. Would Ayurveda and acupuncture do?
Dr. Militant: I say mister, you are just an idiotic patient. Do not stray into fields you do not know about anything. Just take what the doctor ordered. But doctor how many panadols should I take when I have a hangover? I hear you want to restrict that too. If you cannot tell me I will have to ask Dr. Mervyn Silva and go in for acupuncture? Should I cook in coconut oil or palm oil? Use CPC (Petroleum Corporation) oil, the doctor thundered.
I, Serendipitous, have always been a patriot and used only local products. My motto has NOT been Going Well Going Shell but Going Well Appe Thel but damn it, even the oil in my tank is contaminated and my car stalled. Should I as a patriot use it for cooking oil?

  Share:

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

Sri Lanka Guardian has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 2007. We are independent and non-profit.