Dr. Shivani Vakilwala                                                                                                    M.B.B.S                                                                                                                      Medical Officer

 

Is India losing out on the best of the Doctors because people have a pre conceived notion that the Quality of life abroad is much better?

Among the developing countries, India is the biggest exporter of trained physicians, with India – trained physicians accounting for about 4.9% of American physicians and 10.9% of British physicians. While India faces an acute shortage of Doctors, thousands of doctors migrate to foreign shores each year. But is it really bewildering ?

Why are Doctors shifting abroad ?

  1. Freedom from RESERVATION – Yes, this word has really been a nightmare for any individual who has ever given a competitive examination. There are certain seats reserved everywhere one goes but not compromising one over the other. This should be moderated.

 

  1. Better workspace with better amenities- good skill should always be valued with the correct resources. Valued professional and treated accordingly is the key.

 

  1. The ratio mismatch – the ratio of students applying for entrance examinations to the number of seats is drastic. It is sad to see that our country that requires Doctors in large numbers has such less seats and hence people opt for various other countries where they can follow their passion.

 

  1. Certain countries have free education and healthcare once you become a permanent resident. Although it is a long process but everyone would love to settle down in a place where the country prioritises there education and health.

 

We saw one side of the story, now let us see if The grass is really greener on the other side?

  1. Life in a new country is never easy.
  2. The competitive examinations are as difficult as they are here.
  3. The currency conversion while making any payments shock you! Yes, it is expensive.
  4. Our rural healthcare is getting compromised. More the doctors migrating, fewer are the doctors working for the rural part of our country.
  5. Learning a whole new healthcare system that may have different drug formularies, new processes for getting patients through the medical system.
  6. Staying connected with family and friends is challenging, although technology fills this gap working across different time zones is a challenge.

Most leave with at least an open mind on the subject of return to India, but growing familiarity and acceptance as well as clinical opportunities and income make return less likely.

As quoted in Medscape the psychology of emigration is captured in a recent book about medical practice in India titled What’s Up, Doc? Author SaranayaNandakumar summarizes the “ideology of the brain drain” as follows: (1) “The West Is Best Epidemic”—the long-standing belief of young doctors and their parents that training outside of India is superior and a mark of achievement; (2)

“The Materialism Bug”—the expectation of bigger incomes and more material acquisition associated with life in the West; (3) “Specialization in Extremis”—the lure of high-tech training and “super” subspecialization perceived as prevalent in the West; (4) “Governmentitis”—reaction to the strictures and barriers of Indian governmental management of the education system and the

corruption often associated with it; and (5) “Chaos-phobia”—escaping the chaotic government and commercial systems in India in favor of what are perceived to be the more regularized and merit-based medical systems of the West.

Doctors do return, returning is not difficult but the resettling is.

Even when one goes abroad, one always leaves a piece of their heart in their country. Going abroad should not only be a trend but a way where one can gain knowledge and apply or help the needy in the country. There are people who do not value the doctors in our country but there are also people who consider their doctors God like, what about those? Why are the poor being compromised? Why aren’t the healthcare resources divided equally amongst all?

There are several unanswered questions but what we can do is not follow any trend and be the herd.

India of my dreams in 2020 is a country in which Health resources are equally divided and the best of healthcare is available at nominal amounts.

 

References:

  1. Medscape
  2. Economic times
  3. Medicalnewstoday com
  4. who.int

 

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