Friday, June 23, 2017

Few novel ideas about the doctors strike.

First of all, I will be honest and state my standing. I will personally choose and take the side of a professional any day anywhere over a politician! Remaining (without migrating to rich countries) top professionals like doctors, engineers, scientists, lecturers etc are a huge asset to the country. You don't even have to be a top skilled professional to be an asset to rest of the society. Teachers, policeman, military, nurses they too are indispensable professionals we all need.

We all know what politicians (of all color) do in this country and has done to this country. None of us will miss them and none of them is indispensable. So again, if the fight is between working professionals and ripping off politicians, I will take the side of people who put up actual work and contribute, on any day!

As usual, on the SAITM issue as well, politicians of all color were not honest and transparent from the start. Private paid education is a need in the country, that must be there and we will have to get over that fact someday somehow and sooner the better. However, the way politicians were pushing their agenda was dishonest and corrupt. This post is not about SAITM though. So we will turn back to the strike issue.

As far as hearts and minds go, doctors are loosing the battle I think. This was summarised nicely by one of my friends who is a doctor himself, infact a professor as well who is teaching medical students. He said only the poor people get affected by the doctors strike. Rich would anyway go to private hospitals and dispensaries.

It is true, poor people who has to wait on long queues and could even risk their lives and lives of their loved ones need our attention. Lets quantify a bit. This "poor people" mentioned here is actually more than 80% of the population! These people have power only in an election, in all other times these are not the influential people with their own say or people who can change the decision making processes and make their voices heard. Hurting these people and loose their love, comradeship and blessings is not a positive thing at all for the doctors cause, to say the least.

So how to do a better strike and make an effective statement ? It was my wife who suggested this to me first... and it really sound neat! "Work in the general public hospital, give your best to the people and strike in all private hospitals and dispensaries. Do not engage in private practices during the strike"

Idea sounds fascinating! it has following advantages.

1) No one will be able to accuse doctors of being selfish and immoral. Right now, even when there is a strike in the public hospitals doctors do engage in private practices and do work in private hospitals, this does not look good in the eyes of general public. This could also be used by the state media against doctors.

2) Rich and influential people will get affected by the strike. It is more likely to direct towards a solution than hurting people who are powerless and have no say.

3) Support of the general public would be on the side of doctors!

4) Would be a good PR move and can get media and others talking about this in positive light. It is also good for a change!

5) All politicians, their relatives and supporters go to private hospitals!

Open for discussion for all. What do you think ?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Got a New Car - Why I think this (or similar) could change things a lot

Ok, here we go again... another experimental car!

If you are not familiar with this serial craziness of mine, there is enough evidence and past patterns in here : Green Cars, A personal history from Prius to Leaf

I like my LEAF. It's silent, clean, advanced, powerful and yet very comfortable. However I'm much more thrilled and proud to own this little car from China.

why ???

Because, unlike the LEAF (despite it's all the goodness, only very few in Sri Lanka can afford one, hence limiting it's potential of mass adoption and changing the world for the better at least in Sri Lankan roads) this car has a huge potential to change the landscape and get our people to mass migrate to electric vehicles!

Let's elaborate.. (or as some say, let's quantify things a bit :-) )

Shifeng worth about one third of a brand new Nissan LEAF. Used car market should be not much different either.

In brand new condition, this car is expected to do about 130km from a single charge. Not bad at all for a cheap car!

Highest speed is limited to 60km/hour but then again, if we are using the car for city driving (which is what it is best at), then how many meters and how many seconds do we get to drive more than 60km/h on our city roads ?

Like my good friend Thiwanka Wimalasooriya (He is the one who introduced me to this car!) has correctly pointed out, just two solar panels should be enough to neutralise the electricity bill increase that would caused by this car. Meaning a small investment like (Rs 160 000, at Solar Drive prices) should be enough to make one transport energy independent! That investment looks specially comfortable considering that we get to buy a brand new, full option car for much less than a Maruti or an Alto or even a Nano)

Full option.

Battery technology is Lead-Acid (Gel) there are 12 heavy batteries inside which accounts for almost half the weigh of the car. One advantage of Lead Acid is that it is bit more suitable for higher temperatures than Lithium batteries. This might be useful for climates like in here. Another is that Lead - Acid is relatively cheaper, and deep cycle batteries like these tend to last longer.

The particular car I bought has stuck on port for 3 years and hence the battery was degraded, still after 3 years of idleness it still retains, half the power. It remains to be seen whether we can improve the battery capacity with proper charging. My good friend professor NK Gunewardena certainly think so!

Another aspect is the ability to replace Lead-Acid with used lithium battery modules from Nissan Leaf cars. This will create a market for used LEAF batteries as well. At the same time, about 400kg of weight can be shed off from this car which battery capacity is increased. More of that will be covered in future articles, we hope one day a lithium converted Shifeng might beat a LEAF on range!

It's early days yet to write more on this... besides Thiwanka will write a good technical post with figures soon.

If a Shifeng or something similar to it take off, then our roads will become much cleaner, safer and we would harness more sunlight for our transportation and will be less dependent on polluting oil.

It's a worth goal to pursue for!