Ever wondered why almost all medical research you come across – whether it is about rising obesity among children or diabetes among young professionals – invariably comes from outside of India? 

Well, there is a reason behind it. And it is that the medical institutes in India are simply not interested in research.

These figures in a global review published by Hindustan Times just confirmed what we all knew – all that the medical colleges and institutes in India want to do it to make money.

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Here is all about the review and the shocking findings:

Published in Current Medicine Research and Practice, the study is an analysis of the research output from 579 Indian medical institutions and hospitals between 2005 and 2014. Of these, 263 colleges are mainly private institutes set up under the National Board of Examinations while the remaining 316 are mainly government institutes under the Medical Council of India.

  • A shocking 332 – 57% of these institutes – have not published a single research in the last 10 years

  • Only 25 (4.3%) institutes published more than 100 papers a year. Compare this to United States’s Massachusetts General Hospital which pulls off 4,600 a year
  • These 25 colleges actually end up churning out 40.3% of India’s total research output – which is 101,034 papers in the decade

  • In this huge country, there are only four colleges that make India proud by figuring in the top 10 list of the world’s highest research papers-publishing medical institutes.

  • These are AIIMS Delhi (ranked third globally), followed by PGMIR Chandigarh (ranked five), Christian Medical College (ranked seven), Vellore and Sanjay Gandhi PGIMS, Lucknow (ranked nine)
  • What’s worse, while Kerala and Karnataka have the largest number of private medical colleges, as many as 90% of these published no research at all in 10 years
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The review concludes that the overall research output from Indian medical institutions is poor. This may be because medical education has now become a business and there is little interest in research which is not thought to be a profitable activity.

Dr K Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India, agreed. He told HT, “Research doesn’t affect promotions, which is based on seniority and clinical practice, or income. And with doctors running private clinics in many medical colleges in their free time, research suffers.”

Feature image for representation / Reuters