India’s rural medical practitioners are reluctant to refer in severe cases, study finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 30 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2338
  1. Sanjeet Bagcchi
  1. 1Kolkata

India urgently needs an appropriate intervention to reduce the potential harm caused by rural medical practitioners (RMPs) and to improve the healthcare they provide, a study has found.

The study, carried out by Swadhin Mondal, an assistant professor at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development in New Delhi, found that 67% of people in India who require medical care visit RMPs.1 These practitioners do not have any formal medical training but “serve as the first point of contact for healthcare services, especially for outpatient care,” he said. Although countries such as Bangladesh, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda have successfully implemented RMPs for the treatment …

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