There are more psychiatrists of Indian origin in US than in India

After the Indian ‘brain drain’, it is drain of those who cure brain disorders. There are more psychiatrists of Indian origin in the United States than there are psychiatrists in India. The tremendous demand for psychiatrists abroad and the obstacles for setting up a practice in the country are two of the primary reasons for the specific type of brain drain.

The Young Psychiatrists Forum (YPF), a wing of the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS), will for the first time conduct a continuing medical education programme here on Sunday to help young psychiatrists in the country to cope with the various problems they are facing in setting up practices. Over 500 delegates from all over the country will participate.

The YPF chairman and organising secretary of the day-long National CME programme Vishal Indla addressing a press conference here on Friday said there were around 4,000 psychiatrists in the country, but the number of psychiatrists of Indian origin in the USA alone was more then 4,000.

The ratio of psychiatrists to the population in the country was, one for a population of four lakh. The ratio of psychiatrists to population in countries such as UK and USA was, one for 400 to 1,000 people. The minimum number of psychiatrists required for India was 16,000. Even with that many psychiatrists the ratio would be one doctor for a population one lakh. The gap between supply and demand was being met by “faith healers” (boothavaidyulu) who do not treat the patients scientifically, Dr. Vishal said.

CME organising committee chairperson Indla Ramasubba Reddy said a lot many permissions were required to establish a psychiatric hospital because there were several legal implications for patients. Once declared mentally ill, the patient loses several rights, he said.

Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy will inaugurate the programme and IPS national president Roy Abraham Kallivayalli will presided.

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