India’s healthcare growth story hinges on a critical element, primary care physicians. The existing system infrastructure is incapable of producing enough physicians to meet the hockey curve patient demand. Sadly, not only is there a lack of schools with enough capacity to produce physicians, but the quality of the existing institutions is questionable given that the curriculum which has not seen a change since the British rule. Healthcare technology has witnessed not only an evolution but a revolution in treatment philosophy. How then can physicians be expected to provide modern care with antiquated educational underpinnings.
Outdated curricula and under qualified physicians forms the basis of a weak core that is often hidden by the more glamorous tertiary centers. Theses centers in tier 1 cities offer state of the art treatments with the latest technologies, marble hallways, and foreign educated healthcare workers. These institutions cast a long shadow and often hide a system with an unhealthy core.
The beauty of growth is that it overcomes all ills. The country is a vibrant institution of change, and one that is optimistic and hurtling towards governmental reforms that will eventually address many of the institutional ills that grip the country. Building from the top down is often perilous, who after all wants to build a world class system on a foundation that is one wind gust away from being blown away. That after all is the enigma we call the Indian growth story.