QUACKERY IN INDIA-BETTER LOOK THE OTHER WAY
In India, there is one government allopathic doctor for every 10,000 people, one government hospital bed for every 2,000 people and one state-run hospital for every 1,00,000 people. we don’t need an epidemic, however predictable, for the public health system to collapse. It is a matter of routine that patients share beds and doctors are overworked.
Only one in five doctors in rural India are qualified to practice medicine, found a World Health Organization (WHO) report on India’s healthcare workforce, highlighting the widespread problem of quackery. The WHO report, published in 2016, said 31.4% of those calling themselves allopathic doctors were educated only up to Class 12 and 57.3% doctors did not have a medical qualification.
In India, self-styled doctors without formal training provide up to 75% of primary care visits
Optimizing opex by intelligently timing & clubbing activities, driving new memberships, ethical diversity and the need for strong PR to amplify the message of VOH-NHC came up as other important issues in Mr. Joy Chakraborty’s address.
It was felt that the only way to combat the impact of powerful lobbies was to build a lobby of our own – one that was organized, systematic and sustained.
Various other members subsequently put forth their views as well, diagnosing Healthcare from a diverse and inclusive cross-section. Amongst facets underlined for attention were technology advocacy, clear guiding principles (from the government), upskilling of manpower, awareness building on new policies (both upstream – which was government facing, and downstream – which must be public facing), nurturing entrepreneurial cultures, patient experiences, quality benchmarking and emphasis on mental health.
“In the absence of doctors, quacks provide a service and cannot be wished away”, she further adds “What we need is an updated assessment of quackery by state and district, better enforcement to ensure they don’t indulge in high-risk practices such as use of injections and IV fluids, and selective training so they cause the least harm while improving access to first-line health care”.
The phenomenon of UMPs must, therefore, be viewed not as an aberration and an island of occasional failure but as an extensive and integral part of the country’s health care system-albeit run privately and illegally. Owing to its scale it impacts on the health of consumers which must be seen as a public responsibility and addressed but not without understanding the role they play vis-à-vis private sector qualified doctors from whom they derive their limited knowledge as well as training about medical practice.
Whatever it may be, but everyone knows that lot needs to be done, effort needs to be put and policies need to be exercised...to do what?
Better look the other way...but how long can we??