The National Association of Surgeons has recently issued this press release to ‘all concerned’. Your correspondent managed to get hold of an advance copy before it went viral.
“On behalf of The National Association of Surgeons, we wish to bring to the notice of all right thinking Indians, through various sections of the social and conventional media that, we are alarmed at the indiscriminate use of the term ‘surgical strike’, in connection with periodic preemptive actions that our brave jawans have been carrying out across the Line of Control. It has been reliably calculated that, over the past several months, the terms ‘surgical strike’ and ‘surgical operation’ have been employed by the media over a million and a half times across all our news channels – and still counting.
To those who may wonder why the surgeons’ fraternity should take umbrage at what appears to be a perfectly acceptable descriptive military terminology, we would like to draw the attention of the public to some disturbing trends seriously affecting our livelihoods. Ever since the expression ‘surgical strike’ first appeared in the press, or was uttered on our television channels, there has been a precipitous decline in the number of patients opting for any form of surgery, across hospitals in the country. This has had a drastic and adverse impact on the business models of our hospitals, many of whom are now showing negative cash flows in their weekly financial reports. The consequent ‘alarums and excursions’ amongst the medical fraternity over legitimate fears of job losses are leaving doctors and surgeons fretting and fuming.
We were informed by one well known thoracic surgeon, on condition of anonymity, that the performing of surgeries is a very profitable line of business at hospitals, a thriving and healthy revenue stream, with concomitant downstream benefits accruing from countless diagnostic tests prescribed prior to, during and post every…