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Acute Shortage Of Neurosurgeons In India: One Surgeon For Every 1 Million!

India has a severe shortfall of neurosurgeons with only one surgeon for every one million population. There is hence a greater need to build up trained manpower in the country. This is comparatively lower when compared to the situation in US and Japan where the ratio is 100,000 // and 6000 for every one million population respectively.

Dr.A.K. Mahapatra, professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is worried about the present trend who emphasizes that about 20, 000 neurosurgeons would be required in India to manage the ever increasing waiting list of patients. More than 300 children are waiting for neurosurgery at the AIIMS.

Every year around 20,000 new cases are added to the long list of people in India requiring neurosurgery but only about 100 are treated in the eight major neuro centres in the country. There is also a major shortfall in sub-specialists in paediatric neurosurgery in India.

The demand came to light during a four-day continuing medical education programme for paediatric neurosurgeons organized by the International Society of Paediatric Neurosurgery CME Course.

Over 100 neurosurgeons are attending the programme with six specialists from Britain, the US, Canada, France and Argentina. The program would focus on new techniques in the management of complex disorders including brain tumors, cysts, hydrocephalous, neuro-endoscopy and spinal malformations.

The surgeons admitted that unlike cardiologists they have not been able to market themselves well leading to the current shortfall in trained medical personnel in the country. This shortfall is only set to increase with growing stress of daily life adding to the disease burden.

With India emerging as a global leader in the quality health care delivery, it is crucial that steps are taken to encourage doctors to channelise towards the superspeciality and impart specialized training in neur osurgery. If this is materialized, we will be able to meet the needs within the country and keep in pace with the world.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

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