The coronavirus pandemic not only brought to the fore the acute shortage of doctors, but also the deplorable conditions under which our healthcare workers operate. Bringing a ray of hope amid the gloom, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Founder of Narayana Health, expressed confidence that the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the new regulations will bring in enough doctors to address the alarming situation. He was interacting with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai in TNIE Expressions, a series of live webcasts with people who matter.
Discussing the drastic change the National Medical Commission (NMC) can bring, Shetty said that once medical education is liberated there will be an adequate number of doctors. He said, “At present, 80 per cent of the taluk and district hospitals have a shortage of specialists and the new system will change that. Within two years we will have radiologists and pulmonologists... If the official medical board is giving a degree then the young MBBS doctors will even go to the desert and work for two years. That’s the level of desperation.”
The pragmatic cardiac surgeon, who has been using technology for remote consultation on surgeries for ages, said the shift in technology that has been induced by the pandemic should be used by the medical fraternity. “It might be very hard to imagine but I would remove pens and papers from the hands of each doctor and nurse and hand them a digital device. People can then access medical care with the click of a button, get consultations. We can become the first country to dissociate healthcare from affluence,” he added.