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?

 

A Collaborative Work From Some of the Writers at Authentic Medicine

These editorials are from some of the writers here at Authentic Medicine. The opinions expressed by these authors do not necessarily purport to reflect the opinions or views of other writers of this blog. Each collaborative work may, in fact, be from different authors.

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4 Responses

  1. Melinda says:

    This REALLY explains my mother’s Indian doctor, who frustrated me for decades doing nothing for all of her issues (yet she would never change doctors because he was my father’s doctor and was good with my father and it was “easier to go to the same doctor”. We had a final showdown in which she had had undiagnosed polymyalgia rheumatic for probably 20 years and then developed temporal arteritis which he misdiagnosed as a TMJ problem and referred her to a dentist, and at that appointment she went blind in one eye suddenly and was diagnosed by her ophthalmologist on a stop-in visit after the dentist, then she needed a change in medication (high dose prednisone side effects put her into mania and then delirium with hospitalization) and her Indian doctor told her to wait to see a rheumatologist in when she could get an appointment in 4-6 months. I reminded him that she was caring for her dying husband and mentally ill adult son and demanded to know what he was going to do for his patient RIGHT NOW and he got on the phone and got an appointment with a rheumatologist in 9 days. Finally got my mom to never go back to him.

  2. Steve O' says:

    Outrageous! “pigs and donkeys roamed the campus!” Why, not here in America – we have JCAHO and CMS, State and Federal regulators roaming the campus, and NO pigs and donkeys. I guess that there are just some folk that pigs and donkeys are ashamed to be seen with.
    And, sadly, we may be picking from a different draft pool soon. India prefers its home-grown IT technologists and hardware to the American stuff. In five years, we may be lucky to get Indian physicians. I’m betting on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia and China as our next medical training pool.

  3. Steve O' says:

    Outrageous! “pigs and donkeys roamed the campus!” Why, not here in America – we have JCAHO and CMS, State and Federal regulators roaming the campus, and NO pigs and donkeys. I guess that there are just some folk that pigs and donkeys are ashamed to be seen with.
    And, sadly, we may be picking from a different draft pool soon. India prefers its home-grown IT technologists and hardware to the American stuff. In five years, we may be lucky to get Indian physicians. I’m betting on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and China as our next medical training pool.

  4. Sir Lance-a-Lot says:

    Absolutely right, Doug.

    As for your question, “Could they try and import doctors from India? ” –
    You know the answer: They’ve been doing this for years.
    Especially around the big cities, trying to find a doctor who’s NOT Indian can be a challenge.
    Clearly, most Indian doctors in the US are quite competent (I was always impressed my the Indian Internal Medicine residents’ command of number in relation to endless series of blood tests), but this shows that the ones you wonder about may actually be clueless.

    As for the question about telemedicine: Absolutely.
    It will start with the Radiologists, who have screwed themselves through their own laziness, the same way that surgeons, and then primary docs screwed themselves by adopting PAs.
    Radiologists were too tender and delicate to allow themselves to be up all night, so they arranged businesses where they and their families could rotate through Australia, where the time is 12 hours away from ours, and work their “midnight shifts” there, “phoning it in” to ERs across the US.
    Sounds great at first, but what does it really do? It proves that they don’t have to be there to do their jobs.

    It’s just a matter of time before the insurers and hospitals figure out that there are a bunch of Indian-born, US-trained and licensed docs who would be more than happy to live “back home,” with half the income but ten times the standard of living, and at that point all radiologists except interventionists are history, as are their ridiculous incomes.

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