09-Jan-2007

Tharoor's Readers' Answers

Shashi Tharoor is flooded with responses to his question which I'd written about here. Some that I agreed with:
Dr. Masthi says with feeling: "If we cannot retain our doctors, the whole notion of merit in education has no value for people like me who are paying a very high tax to subsidise their education in the hope that they will give back something to the community which sponsored them". He would rather have an average student joining a medical college and staying on to serve India than a bright student who goes abroad, "because ultimately in medicine it is experience and commitment which makes a doctor good".
...
An NRI blogger named "Seeji" (Dr. C.G. Prasanna) lists "[the] minimal number of post-graduate seats not catering to the thousands of [medical] graduates, illogical reservation system, a very low pay package compared to other professions" amongst the reasons why doctors emigrate. Seeji asks: "How justified it is to blame doctors alone when even IITians and IIM guys have studied with the same taxpayers' money?" But he proposes the passage of a law that would bind graduates to work in India for a specified number of years. "That should be applied to doctors as well as engineers", he suggests.
They should start working on that law.

Those who support doctors who emigrate after getting subsidized education mainly cite low pay, bad facilities, discomfort, and safety (from angry kith and kin). I like the crib about low pay, bad facilities, discomfort - coming from people who have obtained crucial degrees paying next to nothing. Another doctor argues that 98% of subsidy is for treating patients. Well, the patients do provide living laboratories for the students to learn their profession unless I'm mistaken.

Update: Of course, I have nothing against people emigrating, including Indians emigrating to other countries. They have the brains, and the skills to succeed in other places and all the more power to them. But not on taxpayer money.

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