New study increases concern over quality of healthcare and medical education in India

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 12 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8437
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

A study has found that healthcare professionals—doctors and non-doctors—in rural and urban India achieved low rates of diagnosis and deviated from standard treatment guidelines. It has increased concerns about the quality of healthcare services and medical education in India.

The study found only “small differences” between doctors and other healthcare providers without medical qualifications in their adherence to standard checklists during diagnosis and “no differences” in providing the correct diagnosis or appropriate treatment. The study indicated that equipment in clinics and doctors’ educational qualifications were only “weakly associated” with the quality of care.1

Jishnu Das, a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and the study’s principal investigator, told the BMJ, “We’re questioning assumptions that a combination of qualifications and equipment can guarantee quality. We find this is not necessarily true.”

The study relied on standardised patients recruited from local communities who walked into …

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