Where did the family doctor disappear?

Family Doctors, Family Physician Home - The Federal
Doctors from old Bollywood movies would come rushing to a patient, even on a stormy night wearing a white coat and the stethoscope hanging around the neck.

Dr S Saravanan, a general physician in North Chennai, doesn't look like any of those cool doctors from the medical dramas on Netflix. He rather resembles doctors from old Bollywood movies — the ones who would come rushing to a patient, even on a stormy night wearing a white coat and the stethoscope hanging around the neck. Of course, the brown leather briefcase in the hand meant a mini-mobile pharmacy of sorts.

However, there aren't many family doctors like Dr Saravanan that Chennai residents can count on any longer.

When 92-year-old Saroja S was recently bedridden with a host of ailments, there wasn't any "god-in-a-white-coat" walking in through the doors of her house. Rather, it took her children several phone calls and days to convince an ophthalmologist to come and visit her. Saroja was experiencing severe redness and pain in the eyes.

"Even though the clinic was just a few minutes away by car, it was impossible for me to go. I was already suffering from acute pain in the legs. Moreover, a few days back, I fell in the bathroom and was left with a few stitches on the head,” she says.

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