Global Healthcare Summit, Kochi: Brain Drain

  • At the Global Healthcare Summit in Kochi, the possibility that the country would allow physicians of Indian origin who have trained abroad to function as fully-practising physicians in India was discussed.
  • goal of the summit was increasing the cooperation of overseas Indians in healthcare delivery back home.
  • Centre would soon push legislation to permit overseas Indian doctors to practise in the country without any further tests or licences.
  • Indians account for about 4.9 per cent of American doctors and 10.9 per cent of British doctors.
  • Over 60,000 Indian physicians practise in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia — a workforce equal to 10 per cent of the physicians in India and the largest emigre physician workforce in the world.
  • Reasons for migration:
    • India has traditionally devoted about 5 per cent of its GDP to health
    • overwhelming majority of this has been spent in the private sector.
    • dearth of available postgraduate training positions, with less than one in two graduates being able to secure one.
    • Indian healthcare system has traditionally lacked adequate malpractice regulation, rules pertaining to hospital certification, guidelines for medical care, and professional licensure.
  • Some have argued that India may benefit through remittances and technology transfer.
  • Reducing incentives to migrate may include further investment and modernisation of the public health sector, investment in what remains a fragmented primary care system dominated by specialists, restraining the further expansion of private medical colleges that cater to graduates who will be seeking positions abroad, and regulatory reform that emphasises quality of care over profits.

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