Who comes to your mind when thinking of an individual from a noble profession?
Teachers? Because they educate you.
Doctors? Because they take care of your health (and health is wealth!).
Fire men, Army men& Police Force? Because they protect you.
Lawyers? Because they fight for justice.
Once upon a time, these were considered the most selfless and respected professions and many of them continue to remain such. No one can deny their importance in society as it is not really a job they do, but a service to the society and fellow citizens.
Something, however, has been amiss with the “selfless” aspect of their services in the recent years. I don’t really understand why, but here is what I observe now-a-days:
- A specialty doctor today charges approx. USD 1000 per hour and may earn as much as USD 330,000 annually (post paying taxes &other expenses).
- A good lawyer earns more than USD 187,199 annually in 2013, according to BLS.
- As per the US News, the 10 priciest schools in 2015-2016 charged an average of USD 50,632 in tuition and fees to undergraduate students. And that’s before the accommodation, textbooks and other miscellaneous expenses!
Have the benign professions of service &literacy turned into another business model? If yes, how do you expect a poor man to afford your high prices for medical facilities or the basic rights to education and justice?More importantly, is ROI from such professions becoming a motive over service to the society?
Experts and professionals working dedicatedly for the society certainly draw a higher respect and surely the remuneration for their efforts too. But denying a service in absence of “higher remuneration” (shall we say higher ROI)is clearly unfair. However unfair, the heavy fees of healthcare experts and Supreme Court lawyers is a well-known fact.
Try searching Google for the highest paying jobs; the top 10 list in any article includes more than half of the above mentioned professions.
As a growing economy, we can’t take risk of capping “income growth” but all developed economies have incentivized higher income with “additional support for society” in form of charity & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Is it possible to better use some of the charity time of these experts dedicate every year to resolve some key issues faced by the society, especially in India.
Education & Training: Why don’t senior teachers more often educate juniors who exhibit passion towards teaching? A number of new students & volunteers take up NGO roles and participate in improving literacy among rural people across India. Why not educate teach them “better”! I am sure there is enough time in summers that can be used (a week or two!). Let me know if this video DOESN’T make an impact on you.
Justice & Civil Education: “Civic Education” in India is only a part of basic education curriculum.We don’t have an efficient mechanism to correct those who violate. How can the highest paid lawyers help the Indian courts in clearing the “PENDING” case files? How about more administration professionals committing daily time to attend problems of “the poor & weak”? The Collector of my city Indore, P. Narhari, meets citizens every day (from Mon to Sat) for 2 hours and helps them in resolving their queries. He is actively involved in many other campaigns which can be viewed here. Of course all of them don’t get resolved at one go, but at least they move in the right direction under his guidance. Every innocent citizen or family saved makes a difference.
Health-care: Wherever we stay, I am sure we of more hospitals than free health check-up camps.Why can’t a doctor treat people living in rural areas? Even if a doctor contributes his time for 5 such surgeries/ treatments can you imagine how much a group of say 10- doctors can achieve?
“Despite the efforts of the government and incentives offered, medical students or doctors are not showing interest in working in rural areas. I wonder what is wrong with the doctor fraternity,” said Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, implying that it’s no longer a service but a profession. According to the Karnataka state health department, 1,148 posts for specialist doctors and 2,727 posts for doctors in state hospitals are lying vacant. (Source)
The US has the highest health spending in the world – equivalent to 17.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP), or USD 8,362 per person. And it’s not all private – government spending is at USD 4,437 per person, only behind Luxembourg, Monaco and Norway. (Source)
Related: Why U.S. Healthcare is so expensive?
PMO India has been working really hard to secure global investments and modify regulations to support business growth. Their efforts have resulted in success across their tenure of approx. 1.5 years. Have we heard of as many initiatives taken towards education, health or civil rights combined together? Sustaining investments is as important as secure them and we can possibly achieve it by improving the healthcare facilities, provide relevant education and support “every citizen” fighting for a right cause.
While the service aspect of these noble professions is evaporating slowly but continuously, it would not be unfair to expect better results from PMO India in 2016; FDI growth to HDI growth. We surely hope good healthcare, education and law don’t become a luxury to the common man.