Karela Fry

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Why too few doctors

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We know we have too few policmen: there are not enough to patrol the streets of our cities. We know we have too few politicians: the only choice we have in the upcoming elections is Hobson’s. Not enough carpenters, trained electricians, skilled labourers of all kinds. We do not have enough doctors either, claims a report in Deccan Herald:

Only 50 to 60 neurologists graduate every year in India, and the country lacks sufficient number of doctors to provide healthcare to its 1.2 billion population, observed Dr Sanjay Singh from the Association of American Epileptologists of Indian origin.

“New York City alone produces more neurologists than the whole of India does,” he said, while speaking at a colloquium on drug resistant epilepsy (DRE) here on Friday.

Why? The pool of skilled professionals is drawn from a population substantially smaller than the whole population of India: most likely just the fraction of the population which has access to good schools. One can estimate this number as follows: there are about 50 good schools in Mumbai, each with a student body of, say, a thousand. That is half a lakh of students in Mumbai. Multiply by about 100 to get the number of such previleged children across the country: 5 million; half the population of New York city.

If every Indian child has access to high-quality education we would probably have about 20,000 neurologists graduating every year. You would probably agree with me, that a nation without schools is a nation without doctors.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

August 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

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