Doctors in India are being urged to look for alternatives to outsourcing
Doctors in southern India are facing the prospect of being left behind as outsourcing companies slash their workforces in the face of rising healthcare costs.
In a survey carried out by the National Centre for Research and Training (NCRIT) on behalf of the Indian Medical Association, doctors in southern states including Tamil Nadu and Kerala were asked about their options for working overseas.
According to the NCRIT, the majority of doctors in Kerala and Tamil Nadu surveyed said they would prefer to work in the US or other western countries and the healthcare cost there would be more affordable than in their home state.
“In Kerala and other states, doctors have to pay an additional fee for the surgery and delivery of their patient, and the total cost of their surgeries is about Rs 25,000-30,000.
In Tamil Nadu, this amount is less than Rs 10,000, and in Kerala, it is around Rs 8,000,” NCRIF Chairman and MD Rajeev Raghavan told the Indian Express.
The NCRIL said this added burden has contributed to a shrinking workforce in many states and regions.
In Kerala, where doctors make up almost 20 per cent of the workforce, the medical colleges have slashed their teaching and professional training programmes and reduced their number of doctors.
Dr Raghavansays that the doctors in this region are now seeking alternatives for their future.
“The doctors are looking for alternative ways of earning their living, such as work as consultants in private hospitals, or in the outsourcing companies,” he said.
In an interview to NDTV, Raghavaan said the government should provide incentives for companies to hire doctors and train them to become doctors.
“This is not an issue of health.
The health issue is not something that is affecting the quality of healthcare in the country,” he added.
The NDTV report highlighted that healthcare companies have also reduced the number of posts for doctors in India by 30 per cent in the last two years, with a majority of posts now being vacant.
The survey revealed that almost half of the doctors surveyed were worried about the quality and safety of their patients and were also not confident about their ability to manage their patients’ health.
“These doctors are scared of taking on the risks associated with their work, and they are being asked to take on more risks to get their work done,” Raghavevaan said.