Why Kerala needs to maintain a better 'General Practitioners to Specialists' ratio. - Misty Wind n Memories

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Why Kerala needs to maintain a better 'General Practitioners to Specialists' ratio.



The Pyramid of Health





An ideal healthcare setup should look like this

pyramid infographic with specialists subspecialists general practitioners
The Healthy Healthcare Pyramid


Primary healthcare doctors, aka general practitioners, should be at the base of the pyramid and hence the most in number. Specialists should be on top of that and their number should be less than that of general practitioners.  Subspecialists (also known as superspecialists in India) should be at the apex of the healthcare system, and they should be the least in number. 




When nobody wants to be 'just a GP'


The healthcare system in Kerala is starting to look like an inverted pyramid (which is entirely different from the statistics for the rest of India)
See this infographic to get an idea of the situation we are moving into. People are not ready to settle down into primary healthcare unless they get a Govt job. They may take temporary duties in emergency departments of private hospitals but never into primary healthcare. 



The unhealthy healthcare pyramid with more specialists than general practitioners





For a proper referral system to work, the numbers in each category of doctors need to remain in optimum levels.  


In Kerala, working as a general practitioner in primary healthcare is seen as incapability of a doctor, and he/she is considered inferior to others. 
Let's take this analogy. An engine can run only when all of its components are working equally well. Similarly, a healthcare machinery with weak primary healthcare is definitely going to fail, leading to frustration among a lot of stakeholders involved. Same is true with specialties. So Let’s take a deep breath and find a balance. For the benefit of our own society.


Here is another good read:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/myths-about-general-practitioners_b_3937618

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