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Surgery in India

Sandip Mukerjee, MBBS, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Edin), FAIS, FIMSA, FIACS; Tarun Gupta, MBBS, MS, FIMSA, CAcu
Arch Surg. 1997;132(6):571-578. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430300013002.
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Surgical practice in India is mostly managed by the central and state governments and is totally government financed, offering free medical aid. However, with the economic growth and affluence of the middle-class population in urban areas, more and more hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics managed by the private sector are arising in cities and towns. Privately owned hospitals are built and managed by large industrial houses and trusts. It is essential, according to government directives, for these hospitals to have certain numbers of general beds that will provide for the economically weaker sections of the population. Medical insurance is popular amongst the urban population; in addition to well-established insurance companies, many new medical service reimbursement organizations are forming. Surgical care standards are uniformly high in the larger teaching institutions and hospitals run by the private sector in major cities in India, in which superspecialty surgical care that meets worldwide standards is available in addition to general surgical care. These hospitals are manned by surgeons holding master's degrees in general surgery, superspecialties, and subspecialties. In the hospitals and dispensaries in rural areas, only basic surgical facilities are available; for major surgical procedures, the patients are referred to the closest urban hospitals. Therefore, the government of India is placing more and more emphasis on building hospitals that offer better surgical facilities away from the cities and towns. A diploma course in surgery is run by the National Board of Surgery, and these diplomates are encouraged to practice more in rural areas and small hospitals. Economic constraints and the population explosion are the biggest hurdles to progress in surgical care, teaching, and research activities. With the advancement in education and growth of the economy, more and more multinationals are walking into the field of medical care, which is proving to be a great boon and providing a rapid increase in the health care expansion in this country. The World Health Organization and the World Bank are providing considerable aid for disease prevention, health care provision, and research activities. Arch Surg. 1997;132:571-578


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