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Doctors’ strike: Were the patients’ rights violated?

But without justice such specialization can become useless. This foundation of justice was laid down by Plato a famous philosopher in the Athenian democracy. Justice, therefore to Plato is like a manuscript which exists in two copies, and one of these is larger than the other.

It exists both in the individual and the society. But it exists on a larger scale and in more visible form in the society. Justice is an order and duty of the parts of the soul it is to the soul as health is to the body. Plato says that justice is not mere strength, but it is a harmonious strength.

Justice is not the right of the stronger but the effective harmony of the whole. “All moral conceptions revolve about the good of the wholeindividual as well as social.” It did not come a surprise to encounter a strange behaviour manifesting total injustice from some medical practitioners .

This week it was shocking to listen to some doctors who were bold enough to talk about the go slow at Muhimbili National Hospital and Muhimbili Orthopaedics Institute, with very shocking strategies. It is unfortunate that the three doctors were talking that God will forgive them for not attending to patients if at all they happen to die.

But since the authorities concerned are closely monitoring the situation after the strike it is not easy for one to get away with any crime committed. So the divine intervention is above everything. It was like these patients will have to bear with the situation, since some of the doctors who are now on a “go slow” strike are sending patients without treating them.

Their views might not represent the views of all the medical practitioners, who went on strike recently and in fear of losing their jobs they reported to work as per the president’s orders. I just set quiet looking at the three doctors, observing something very strange in their eyes and their mouths.

They were not ashamed to talk about such attitude of ‘Killing’ patients. I can justify this  statement because they brought in God as an excuse that, He, the Almighty God, will have to forgive them for not saving their lives.

The three are people we would all hold in high esteem if they appeared any where called ‘doctors’ who have no feeling for their patients. They openly talk about money being their desire and ultimate goal. One of the ‘doctors’ was asking his colleague what you are doing.

He replied that he was pursuing a master’s degree at MUHAS on public health. He went further to ask him who was the sponsor and the answer was the ministry of Health and Social welfare. “So you will now be promoting condoms and free from all other intimidations and risks of being a doctor,’ he said .

There was also a comment from another doctor who said that the state will pay a hefty price for what they did to Ulimboka, I will not stay in this profession any more to see myself in humiliation that Dr Ulimboka is now facing.

However, these doctors’ discussion did not stop with such expressions of abandoning the patients only, it went on to explain why it was not worthy to stick to this medical profession and serve as a doctor.

I believe these do not in any way represent the underground views. One of the doctors was too materialistic to describe his intentions. He said I am quite satisfied to have a name so I don’t need to serve any more as a doctor.

“I will cross to some other professions such as Marketing and do my MBA so that in just one year I can earn thrice or twice what a medical doctor who is a specialist can earn,” he said. Philosophers say that it is not right to restore deadly weapons to a man after he has gone mad.

“If, the friends only a friend in seeming and an  enemy in reality, then what will happen? Then under such circumstances whether we should rigidly follow the definition and do him good or we may use discretion and do him evil? But to do evil to anybody, including one’s  enemy was inconsistent with the most elementary conception of morality.

Thus, this conception of justice regulated the relations between individuals on individualistic  principles and ignores the society as a whole.” Can we compare our country today with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens during Platos time?

It is in history that Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens. Most historians have written that the Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for Secrate’s death.

Sophistic teaching of the ethics of self-satisfaction resulted in the excessive individualism also induced the citizens to capture the office of the State for their own selfish purpose and eventually divided “Athens in to two hostile camps of rich and poor, oppressor and oppressed.

Many people I have spoken to try to refer indirectly to Plato many theories of justice which were prevalent in Athens empire. Today our representatives in the Parliament in Dodoma are talking about
justice, justice, justice.

If we do an inquiry about justice, it goes back from the crudest to the most refined interpretation of it. Many MPs are seen upset that some of their colleagues are not agreeing with them on some issues including the discussion of the doctors strike, which they claim to be seeking justice.

In his philosophy Plato gives a prominent place to the idea of justice. Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for Socrates’s death.

Thus, after criticising the conventional ideas of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato went on to give us his own theory of justice. Plato strikes an analogy between the human organism on the one hand and social organism on the other.

Human organism according to Plato contains three elements-Reason, Spirit and Appetite. An individual is just when each part of his or her soul performs its functions without interfering with  those of other elements. He said that for example, the reason should rule on behalf of the entire s oul with wisdom and forethought. The element of spirit will sub-ordinate itself to the rule of reason.

Those two elements are brought into harmony by combination of mental and bodily training. “They are set in command over the appetites which form the greater part of man’s soul. Therefore, the reason and spirit have to control these appetites which are likely to grow on the bodily pleasures.

These appetites should not be allowed, to enslave the other elements of spirit and appetite and usurp the dominion to which they have no right.” It is clear that there are some patients who are now suffering in their beds because some doctors have decided to punish them.

It is something that doctors should be realistic that even if they think that these are not their relatives so it matters not, but think of your village and communities since they will also be subjected to the same conditions sooner or later. There is always divine intervention, even the doctors can be caught in the same situation, whereby they are in a critical condition and yet no one is ready to help them.

I would like to share this with the doctors who insist on go slow and postponing the treatment of innocent citizens of this country on the pretext of their individualism and materialism on what Plato said in his own theory of justice.

“According to which, individually, justice is a ‘human virtue’ that makes a person self-consistent and good; socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good. According to philosophers from east and west , justice is a sort of specialization.

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