Should Indian Doctors emigrate ??

Note: This post was originally posted in my other blog "personal odyssey of the self"

This is one question which I always find difficult to take a stand on. It is little easier to take a stand when you reframe the question “Should Indian doctors emigrate after studying in the Indian tax payer’s money?”

This week’s Shashi Tharoor’s column in ‘The Hindu’ deals with this issue. He questions “Should the Indian Government continue to subsidise medical education?”. A very basic question indeed.

He has supported the engineers & management graduates by saying

“…..The old fears of a "brain drain" seemed to me to have been supplanted by
hopes of a "brain gain", as desi software designers and high-tech gurus from
Silicon Valley have opened thriving firms in India, employing their countrymen
and women, increasing the country's export revenues and pumping up the national

Then I should ask “How many of them?”. If the IT boom which started here by the resident Indians was not there, would they have mind to come down here?. I don’t find any difference between a NRI coming to India for opening a firm and Microsoft coming to India. Both of them are here for business and for cheap labour. That’s it. How justified it is to blame Doctors alone when even IITians & IIM guys have studied with the same tax payers money causing a big hole in their pockets.

Having said that, I am not supporting the idea of funding someone’s education, only to see him going abroad and making money. There should be strict legislature of a bond to work in home country atleast for specified years after completion. That is not a very difficult legislature to bring in. That should be applied to Doctors as well as Engineers.

Apart from this basic question, Mr Tharoor also gives a strange picture where Indian doctors are ready to serve the poor at remote places of US but not the same poor in India who are in much needy position.

“Towns like Welch, populated largely by the very poor and the often sick,
have little appeal for American doctors whose principal objective is to earn
back the quarter of a million dollars they have spent on their medical
education. …….. Fifteen of the 19 doctors in the town hospital were from abroad,
including India.”

Situation is not that gloomy, as recent evidences show a reverse brain drain in medical fraternity. But there is a huge rise in number of young medical students moving abroad looking for higher pays, better career and better life. This may have been resulted because of minimal number of post graduate seats not catering to the thousands of graduates coming out, rampant illogical reservation system, a very low pay package compared to other professions. But they should not be the excuses for someone to burden the taxpayer

Mail me your views at drprasannacg[at]gmail[dot]com