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How to halt the brain drain

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:921

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Re: Re: You can't write in the chimney with charcoal.

This interesting debate initiated by Dr Hegde cannot be complete
without looking at some additional facts about India. The human
development index (HDI) focuses on three measurable dimensions of human
development: living a long and healthy life, being educated and having a
decent standard of living. In 2003 India ranked at 127 out of 177
countries. Moreover, India's public health expenditure in 2002 was 1.3% %
of its GDP. This is equal to Rupees 160 (just over 3 Euros) spent per anum
per head.

Dr Hegde reports that India spends 5.1 % of its GDP on health. This
figure holds true only when private expenses, paid for by each individual
are taken in to consideration. Over 85% of health care provision is
through private enterprise.

Systematic under-investment by Indian Governments over 5 decades is
the root cause of such circumstances, including brain drain. A qualified
doctor after years of training could be earning as much as a tele-sales
person. The other option is to work within the unregulated, unethical and
immoral private health sector. Such is the situation that doctors are
paying thousnads of punds to seek attachments in reputed private
Institutes or giving referring GPs kick-backs. The latter practice can be
so rampant & corrupt that either 'sham' or 'unwanted' procedures has
become a routine. And all this to make ends meet. Is it then any surprise
that doctors are looking at serving elsewhere in the world.

Source: Human Development Reporrts

Competing interests:
Indian doctor in UK

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 May 2006
A Joglekar