India has a vast knowledge bank in the form of educationists, scientists, engineers and doctors who are trained in India, but lately India has become the outsourcing hub of the world. This outsourcing means that a talented bunch of students working out of their country of origin to serve the other especially the more developed nations. Outsourcing in terms of information technology is doing a lot of good to the country by increasing the country’s expert revenues and pumping up the national GDP and indirectly benefiting the Indians who are staying at home.
But one category of Indian professionals particularly doctors when emigrate troubles because of two reasons-one that they possess knowledge and training that is still in short supply in our country and second by the Government of India spends generously on training these doctors, helping them to acquire the skills that they relentlessly take abroad. Whenever we see any vacancy for doctors – it always writes: graduates and post graduates from institutions like AIIMS, PGI, AFMC are preferred.
We all know that these are the premiere medical institutions of India who train the top creamy layer of scholars opting medicine as their career. This is surely brain drain. To put in simple language brain drain means the people who study in their country of origin, get trained there and then they go to foreign country to work and earn money.
Over 50 per cent students think that they have much better opportunities abroad and they try. In doing so they forget that the Government of India has spent a huge sum for bringing them to that level of education and training. The common statement of these emigrating doctors is that they are not ready to serve in rural India due to lack of infrastructural facilities and other incentives by serving the poor rural population. The irony of the statement is that they are ready to serve similar rural population if it is in America since here the typical earnings range between $80,000 to $200,000 per year. The question here is – must the Indian tax payer subsidise them for nine years to do so? Here I must emphasize that Indians are still treated as second grade citizens in US and UK but still they run towards meager opportunities in these countries. The time has come India has to bring up its health care standards to a level it forces a reverse brain drain. Only by improving the infrastructural facilities a major chunk of doctors working abroad can be brought back. By recognising the push and pull factors which are responsible for this brain drain. The Indian youth can and will understand that today India is no less than any other country in the world and only then India will become a developed nation. To conclude the major reason for declining health care services in the country is the lag that is caused by emigration of one doctor and when we have hundreds of doctors emigrating every year, it is time that the health care policy makers must give a serious thought to recognise the factors that will prevent the youth of India from going abroad. We will have to revamp our education system and also open up sufficient higher education schools so that the youth does not have to look for alternatives elsewhere.
We should not be just a country that produces great talent but also the one that nourishes and builds a developed nation. We should work towards the day when we are not only proud of being an Indian but also proud of being in India.
(The writer is national convener of BJP Doctor’s Cell and National vice president of Indian Medical Association.)