Friday, December 17, 2010

Why is the doctor so irrational??

The New yorker apparently carried a story about tuberculosis on the streets of Darbangha in Bihar recently.
If there was a strong message to be carried from the sympossium,it was the message to ban the use of serological tests for diagnosis of tuberculosis.WHO is ,for the first time in it's history ,putting forward a negative recommendation.
We stopped using serology for TB diagnosis five years ago,but never mind-it's better late than never.
The article I believe,goes on to highlight how the doctors in Darbangha continue to order this expensive test for diagnosis of tuberculosis.The cost of the test runs up to 25 dollars.The patient is a labourer who earns around 2 dollars per day and the profit made from the twenty five dollars received ,is shared between the doctor who prescribes it,the person who imports it and the french company which produces it.
So our poor rickshawpullers on the street ,who contract tuberculosis, are making these dubious companies in Europe rich!One gentleman put forward this question-'Why is the doctor so irrational?''.
Madhukar Pai replied-'incentives! my friend incentives!'
That is ,I guess,the India story.
Dr Pai,who seems to be a faculty from the McGill university in Montreal in Canada,obviously of Indian origin, sounded almost cynical.

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