Doctors quitting UKs NHS for cleaner, better-equipped Indian hospitals

December 16th, 2007 - 5:06 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 16 (ANI): Indian hospitals are now said to be cleaner and better equipped as compared to their British counterparts, a fact that is making Indian doctors quit Britains NHS (National Health Service) to work in the sub-continent instead.

Anupam Sibal, director of the Apollo hospital in Delhi said that he was receiving five job applications a week from NHS doctors and that half his 3,000 consultants were from Britain.

Theres a feeling that Indias time has come and theres a huge need for these people to come back, Times Online quoted him, as saying.

According to doctors, the reasons behind the move are the countrys economy, state of the art equipment, higher standards than the NHS and a better quality of life.

In particular, they say hospitals in India, which many Britons still imagine to be impoverished and dirty, suffer less from hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

India has no equivalent of the NHS but there has been a boom in private hospitals that resemble luxury hotels, with marble foyers and corridors mopped by an army of liveried cleaners.

Mahesh Kul-karni, an orthopaedic surgeon, is an example of such a move. He left Bristol Royal Infirmary after 10 years in Britain and is now a consultant at the Aditya Birla Memorial hospital in Pune.

The hospitals are better than in Britain, he said.

This hospital is spotless and clean compared with the old hospitals in the UK, some of which are more than 100 years old. I started in January this year and I have not seen MRSA here yet.

Its had a lot of investment, and things I couldnt do in Britain I can do here. We have clean air operating theatres [that remove dust from the air], and our intensive care unit here is fully equipped with special monitoring instruments.

When I went to England 10 years ago, India was 10 years behind Britain. Now theres hardly any difference, he added.

Other doctors say that the new European Union rules play an important part in their decision to move.

Shailendra Magdum, a specialist registrar in neurosurgery at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford until he left for India in August last year, said that rules favouring EU doctors over Indians were responsible.

The EUs working time directive had also deteriorated NHS standards, he added, by limiting the amount of time that young doctors could spend on the wards.

For a neurosurgeon to be good you have to spend a lot of time on the wards, but in Britain the working time directive is running down training, he said.


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