Saturday, December 5, 2020
Home Media Doctors explain why Anjana Om Kashyap and Ajit Anjum heckling doctors to report on...

Doctors explain why Anjana Om Kashyap and Ajit Anjum heckling doctors to report on Encephalitis was insensitive and way off the mark

With both the journalists, the aim was to assign blame of the deaths of children suffering from Encephalitis and in the process, they ended up humiliating overworked doctors on national television.

After the recent outbreak of Encephalitis in Bihar, the media has been visiting hospitals around Bihar and trying to ascertain why the children are not being treated adequately. Recently, the reportage of Aaj Tak journalist Anjana Om Kashyap and TV Bharatvarsh journalist Ajit Anjum raised concerns of how bullish and high-handed the media was being with unsuspecting doctors who were only doing their job.

Anjana Om Kashyap had barged into the ICU of a Bihar hospital and heckled the doctor on duty, asking him questions about Encephalitis care. She had essentially stopped the doctor, who was doing his job, and asked him why a patient who had just come in was not being attended to. She had also heckled a nurse in the process of her third-degree interrogation.

In a similar video, Ajit Anjum of TV Bharatvarsh had displayed brute behaviour when he hackled and yelled at a nurse while in a Bihar hospital trying to cover the Encephalitis outbreak. Ajit Anjum went and heckled a senior doctor who was on duty questioning him about the number of ICUs, deaths and treatment being administered, trying his best to insinuate that there was a dearth of doctors treating children. He even blamed the doctor of being in one ICU while death had occurred in another ICU, insinuating inadequate treatment without finding out the condition of the patient.

While on the face of it, the conduct of both journalists is reprehensible, to truly understand the depth of the errors in journalism here OpIndia reached out to several doctors to understand what could have been done differently and how the journalists concerned endangered lives of the patients with their overzealous reportage.

Access to ICU questionable

The doctors OpIndia spoke to unanimously said that the first and foremost problem with the reportage of Anjana Om Kashyap and Ajit Anjum was their access to the Intensive Care Unit. The consensus was the journalists should not have barged into an active and busy patient care area like that.

The doctors also pointed out that the journalists did not seem to care about the patients’ and relatives’ permission to be recorded on video. This would need consents as there will be privacy and sensitivity issues.

Heckling while working

The doctors said that in both videos, Anjana Om Kashyap and Ajit Anjum seem to be heckling the nurses and doctors while they were actually working. This not only disturbs their workflow, it also flusters people and leads to them making errors in such a demanding situation.

Can’t tell a doctor how to prioritise medical work

In both videos, journalists Anjana Om Kashyap and Ajit Anjum seem to ask doctors as to why they prioritised the work in the manner that they did. While Anjana was asking why a patient who had been wheeled in moments ago was not being taken care of, Anjit was heckling the doctor about why patients in other ICUs are not being taken care of.

The doctors OpIndia spoke to took strong exception to this line of questioning by the journalists.

One doctor said, “It was none of their business to tell how the doctor who was working how to prioritize his day or work. He wasn’t lazing around, just that his priorities of patients were different from what she insisted upon. This is actual ‘interference in medical care’ and could certainly land her behind bars in many countries”.

Specifically, in Anjana Om Kashyap’s case, the doctor said, “She assumed that the patient that was just wheeled in had to be seen straight away (leaving all other work aside). It’s possible the child was seen and stabilized on admission in the Emergency Department or other areas- as in primary observations, IV access etc. Often nurses would do the primary observations and interventions before the doctors would do more specific diagnostics”.

Interestingly, Ajit had done exactly the same while heckling the doctor about why a doctor was not present in one of the ICUs. This is the same issue that the doctor concerned had raised that journalists are not in the position to pass judgements on how doctors should be prioritising their work.

“How many died today?”

Anjana Om Kashyap had in a brazen manner questioned the doctor about ‘how many children had died’ on that day. The tone was, of course, accusatory and arrogant, but beyond that, one has to understand why technically that was a silly question to ask the doctor in the first place.

The doctor we spoke to said, “It was certainly not meant to help. The individual doctor manning the ward isn’t obviously the person to ask such statistics. He wouldn’t have the live audit of the hospital with him, he would have info about individual patients he was managing. Such data questions should be asked to the administration office/medical superintendent office where the reports are compiled. She obviously asked it just to further heckle the doctor, implying he was responsible for all those deaths”.

The overwhelming consensus was that the two journalists simply deteriorated the mental stability of doctors who are overworked and are already dealing with a stressful situation of caring for 100s of children. Information regarding an outbreak like this should be availed from administrative offices instead of heckling the doctors directly. However, if they really did want to interact with people directly involved in care, the line of questioning should have been extremely different.

The journalists ideally should have asked the doctors what they would need to provide better care for the patients instead of heckling and blaming them while they were working. The questions should have also been posed to them while they were off duty instead of taking time away from the actual patients to blame and humiliate them on national television.

In fact, one of the doctors we spoke to went as far as to say, “All that heckling and anxiety generated from that and being on TV and in such negative way, that doctors’ performance in hospital and the mental situation will be bad for who knows how long!”

With both the journalists, the aim was to assign blame of the deaths of children suffering from Encephalitis and in the process, they ended up humiliating overworked doctors on national television. Doctors in government hospitals usually work with fewer facilities and are underpaid. For them to now see their faces on national television, being humiliated, will go to shatter morale and eventually, affect the care they are providing to patients.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nupur J Sharma
Editor, since October 2017

Related Articles

Trending now

‘King, please come back and save the country!’: Massive protests in Nepal demand the restoration of Hindu Monarchy

Hundreds and thousands of Royalists took to the streets of Nepal to demand the restoration of the Hindu Monarchy.

Rahul Gandhi tweets to fuel farmers’ protests: Here is how Congress had promised similar farm laws in 2019 election manifesto

Congress promised abolition of APMC Act and replacement of Essentials Commodities Act, 1955 in manifesto, thereby promises similar farm bills

Anil Vij tests positive for Coronavirus days after he joined third phase of vaccine trials: Here is why there is no reason to panic

As Covaxin trial is double blinded, there is 50% chance that Anil Vij got placebo in place of vaccine, and he only received one dose

TRS goes from 99 to 56 seats, BJP goes from 4 to 49: Here is why, and it is not what English media thinks

Elections to the GHMC were actually due in February of 2021 but TRS decided to pre-pone the elections by three months to gain an upper hand

NIA files chargesheet in Khalistan Liberation Front narco-terror case: Narco-terrorist Singh was using money from drug trade to strengthen KLF

Accused used to receive smuggled Heroin from Pakistan-based Jajbir Singh Samra and use proceeds to strengthen Khalistan cause

‘We will make Ravan humane, justify his abduction of Sita’: Saif Ali Khan on his role of ‘Lankesh’ in upcoming movie ‘Adipurush’

Saif Ali Khan courted another controversy recently after he revealed that the makers of his upcoming movie 'Adipurush' have decided to show 'Ravan' as humane

Recently Popular

‘We will make Ravan humane, justify his abduction of Sita’: Saif Ali Khan on his role of ‘Lankesh’ in upcoming movie ‘Adipurush’

Saif Ali Khan courted another controversy recently after he revealed that the makers of his upcoming movie 'Adipurush' have decided to show 'Ravan' as humane

How a teacher from Solapur, Ranjitsinh Disale, won the coveted Global Teacher Prize and $1 million: Here is his story

32-year-old teacher Ranjitsinh Disale won the Global Teacher prize and prize money of $1 million for his extensive work in the field of the girl child education

‘Inki aurate take-take ke bhaw bikti thi’, after justifying death threat to PM Modi, Yuvraj Singh’s father Yograj Singh humiliates Hindus

Though Yograj Singh does not explicitly mention Hindus in the videos, it is clear from the speech that it is what he meant

Ex-Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father Yograj Singh joins Farmer’s protests, justifies “Indira thok di” comment

Multiple videos of Yograj Singh, Yuvraj Singh's father, have gone viral on social media where he has been giving provocative speeches amid the ongoing farmer protests

From supporting Khalistanis to hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs: A brief intro of the new liberal favourite, Diljit Dosanjh

Singer Diljit Dosanjh has become the new blue-eyed boy of the left-liberal gang after he supported ongoing farmers protest

Watch: Angry Rajdeep Sardesai threatens to sack his staff in charge of social media for failing to link up his Instagram live

Rajdeep Sardesai had announced that he was doing a live chat on his Instagram page to discuss Hyderabad municipal election results

Indian migrants constitute the largest high-skilled diaspora in OECD countries: Reports

The OECD report further emphasised that the Indian diaspora constituted the largest high-skilled diaspora in OECD countries.

Maharashtra government confirms that Anvay Naik murdered his own mother, Arnab Goswami moves HC against charge sheet: Here are the details

Arnab Goswami has alleged that Maharashtra police filed the charge sheet by following the dictates of the state government

Assam: FIR registered against ‘Ajmal Foundation’ run by AIUDF Chief for receiving funds from foreign Islamic organisations linked to terror funding

Yesterday we reported how in a thread of Tweets LRO had accused Ajmal Foundation of receiving foreign funding to a tune of Rs 69.55 crore

Doctors advise Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to talk less following angioplasty surgery

Sanjay Raut had undergone angioplasty surgery on Thursday wherein two stents were placed in his artery

Prime Minister Modi to lay the foundation stone of the new Parliament building on December 10

The construction of the new Parliament building that will commence this month, is expected to be completed in October 2022.

‘Don’t want to be controlled by high command culture from Delhi’: Aam Aadmi Party Goa founder Elvis Gomes quits

Elvis Gomes alleged that the Aam Aadmi party has lately deviated from its ideologies and has compromised on its core principles

West Bengal: Several persons injured after bombs hurled at BJP rally in West Burdwan district, BJP blames TMC for the attack

TMC denied the allegations, and said it was a staged and premeditated attack by the BJP to divert attention from 'burning' issues

Pune Mirror shuts down due to the economic crisis triggered by Coronavirus pandemic, Mumbai Mirror to relaunch as weekly

The Times Group has decided to shut down the publishing of the Pune Mirror due to the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.

Karnataka: Journalist exposes illegal cow slaughterhouses in Hassan, Muslim mob, including several women, attack her

The woman journalist, accompanied by NGOs and police officials, visited the four illegal slaughterhouses and five cattle hoarding spots in the city.

Kerala Gold Scam: Customs Dept seeks protection from Centre for probing officers as they inch closer to ‘big names’ involved

Request for protection came as investigating team learned that probe in the Kerala Gold scam might yield some big names in Kerala Gold scam

Connect with us