It puts a lot of workload on existing specialists

Getting a neurologist’s appointment is tough in Hyderabad. All that the hapless patient can do is to hang around for long hours in the hospital to meet a neurologist.

While the pool of patients is ever increasing, availability of specialist neurophysicians in Hyderabad and other districts, is not increasing at the same pace.

Limited seats

By rough estimates, the number of neurologists in the State is close to 150, which is putting a lot of workload on the existing specialists.

Even PG seats for neurology are limited with Osmania, Gandhi and Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam offering two PG seats in the subject each.

In addition, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) is offering six PG seats, while private medical colleges in the State have two PG seats in Neurology.

Estimates suggest that across the country the number of neurologists will not exceed the 1,000 mark, and a majority of them are concentrated in cities.

Rise in cases

“Shortage of neurologists is a countrywide phenomenon. It’s highly specialised and is receiving a lot of attention lately because the patients with neuro problems are increasing.

There are infrastructure limitations both in government and private teaching hospitals, which could be the reason for the shortage,” feels Head of Neurology, Gandhi Hospital, Dr. P. Dhairyawan.

Diagnosis

Many also point out that availability of tools like MRI and CT scan has also played a role in diagnosing more number of neuro-related patients.

“More and more patients are getting diagnosed with strokes, multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy and dementia. It’s also true that neurology is a super speciality course and takes a lot of dedication to reach the top,” feels Dr. S. Mahaboob, Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital.

Life-long treatment

Most neuro-related disorders like dementia and MS are chronic in nature and cause long-term disability needing life long management.

“Such patients suffer from pain and undergo mental and physical trauma. It is important to treat such patients with high priority.

“The Government can play a big role creating a big pool of neurologists,” feels Dr. A K Meena, Additional Professor, Neurology, NIMS.

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