A friend of mine called saying he had acute urinary tract infection. He had fever and burning while passing urine. His urine examination showed pus cells and he had raised white blood cell counts. An ultrasound of his kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder did not show a stone or any other abnormality. He needed intravenous antibiotics. In the King’s Circle/Matunga area, in Mumbai, there are facilities for homecare where physicians attend to the sick at home and provide care with nurses and ward-boys. He was keen on getting treated at home.
Unfortunately, a family physician they knew got them admitted to a local hospital, telling him that if he didn’t do so, things could go really badly wrong. Once that fear of “things can go wrong” was put into him, he had no choice but to agree. His family and he regretted this decision from the moment he was admitted, since the only reason for admission was the administration of intravenous antibiotics, which could easily have been done at home in his own comfortable environment.
It took two days for my friend to finally get back home, after taking discharge against medical advice, and being warned multiple times that the doctors would not be responsible if anything went wrong. Seriously?
The practice of medicine is fundamentally that of healing and if that is not possible, reducing suffering. Why does that have to be done in a hospital?