Before We Outsource Our Doctors to India

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I think you really should check out this special report about the fraud going on in India’s medical school system. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • They are using fake or dummy patients to pass inspections and prove that they actually see real patients.
  • More than one out of every six of the country’s 398 medical schools has been accused of cheating.
  • Recruiting companies routinely provide medical colleges with doctors to pose as full-time faculty members to pass government inspections.
  • Paying bribes – often in the guise of “donations” – to gain admission to Indian medical schools is widespread.
  • “The next generation of doctors is being taught to cheat and deceive before they even enter the classroom,” said Dr. Anand Rai.
  • A government-backed surge in private medical schools which, to boost revenue, frequently charge under-the-table fees for admission.
  • More graduates of Indian medical schools lost their right to practice medicine in the past five years than did doctors from any other foreign country.
  • About 45 percent of the people in India who practice medicine have no formal training, according to the Indian Medical Association
  • “The market has been flooded with doctors so poorly trained they are little better than quacks,”said Sujatha Rao, who served as India’s health secretary from 2009 to 2010.
  • A study in India published in 2012 compared doctors holding medical degrees with untrained practitioners. It found “no differences in the likelihood of providers’ giving a diagnosis or providing the correct treatment.”
  • There were professors who existed only on paper, he alleged, and “no clinics and no lectures” for students in the medicine and surgery departments. Conditions were unsanitary at the hospital, and pigs and donkeys roamed the campus, he wrote. The writer also alleged that students had to pay bribes to pass exams.

This report aside, there are tremendous Indian doctors out there and this has no bearing on them.  But with this crap above, how do you tell?   That’s the point.  So, why do I think this issue is important? Well, the government, the insurers and the hospital administrators here are ALWAYS looking to replace American doctors.  The rule of thumb is the LELTer, the cheaper, no matter where they come from.  Could they try and import doctors from India?  Sure.  Could they convince Americans that telemedicine is just as good as actually seeing a doctor?  They are doing it already, albeit with American doctors, but that can easily be diverted to these Indian doctors.  Trust me, outsourcing medicine is coming.  The only question is who will try to prevent it?

 

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