New Delhi: Around
300,000 doctors of Indian origin are working abroad and they are
willing to help the Indian government in a variety of ways, a
leading Britain-based doctor said.
"Indian doctors abroad are keen to work in a variety of ways,
including voluntary work, support in collaborative research and
medical education," Doctor Ramesh Mehta, secretary general of the
Global Association of Physicians of Indian origin (GAPIO), told
Mehta, who is also president of the British Association of
Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), said: "There is hardly any
country in the world where Indian doctors are not working. We want
to coordinate their efforts to make it more beneficial to India by
identifying their area of interest and matching it with the needs
of the country."
Mehta is in New Delhi to take part in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas,
the annual convention of people of Indian origin all over the
According to him, over 40,000 doctors of Indian origin were
working in the UK's National Health Service (NHS), a publicly
funded healthcare system.
"Approximately 10,000 doctors are retired or retiring and 15,000
doctors are in training and they are looking for opportunities in
India. There is scope for a reverse brain drain," Mehta said.
He said there is great scope of research for cheap drugs to tackle
problems of infections and diseases like diabetes in India.
"The collaboration can be done with the pharmaceutical industry in
India. Many Indian doctors abroad are working in the field of
research and teaching," he added.
Mehta said that his earlier efforts to form tie-ups in research
and education did not work due to "bureaucratic obstacles."
"Things are happening but not in the way they should... It takes
time to get any work done. There is the question of recognition of
foreign qualifications which has not been sorted out by the Indian
Medical Council and the government. Simple things take so long,"
Suggesting an NHS-like health care system for India, Mehta said
the government should invest in public health as the burden of
disease causes loss of productivity.
"The state has to play a bigger role because of the poor economic
condition of a majority of the population," he said.
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