Docs call for better communication with patients

  • Aayushi Pratap, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2016 12:09 IST

Doctors across city’s civic-run hospitals participated in a day-long workshop on ‘communication skills in patient management’ at KEM Hospital, Parel on Thursday.

The speakers said that over the last few years, poor communication between doctors and patients in public hospitals has led to resident doctors being manhandled by patients’ relatives.

Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital, said an analysis of complaints by patients’ relatives, especially during emergencies, reveals a lack of communication between doctors, patients and the relatives.

“Non-verbal communication, which includes the doctor’s body language, is important so the patient and his relatives feel they are being taken care of,” said Supe.

“Being professional does not mean distancing yourself from patients. If a patient has diabetes, the doctor should not just put him on anti-diabetics, but spend time discussing lifestyle changes with him,” said Dr Shubnagi Parker, head of the psychiatry department, KEM Hospital.

Doctors, however, said that communicating with each patient is difficult, given the number of patients who are admitted to the hospital every day.

“The doctor-to-patient ratio is poor in government hospitals. It is impossible for doctors to spend time with each patient. KEM Hospital alone has 5,000 new and follow-up cases in the outpatients unit,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, president, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors.

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