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India Lags Behind in Medical Research: BMJ

The British Medical Journal recognizes the contribution of medical practitioners in the field by publishing the cutting-edge academic research and providing professional development solutions through BMJ Awards. More than 1500 nominations were received from across South Asia in categories such as Excellence in Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation and Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Team of the Year amongst others. On the sidelines of the BMJ Awards 2018, Dr Fiona Godlee, the editor-in-chief of the BMJ, shared her insights on medical research and healthcare practices in India. Talking of medical research in India, Dr Fiona said that India is yet to keep pace with other countries on international level in terms of medical research. “There is a lack of ample medical researches due to various challenges such as lack of funding and training do not support medical research, besides the problems of huge population and healthcare challenges,” she said.

Agreeing to the bias prevailing in the medical research field pertaining to the coverage of India and other south Asian countries by the medical journals in many other countries, Dr Fiona also advocated open access to medical researches and journals. She agreed to pharma interference in medical research stating that funding in medical research could be provided by pharmaceutical companies only if the these researches would affect their market. The most common healthcare burden is of lifestyle and non-communicable diseases in India and the medico considers lifestyle and dietary habits as the responsible factors. “UK is undergoing a diabetes epidemic and statistics show a growing incidence. Dietary habits in the west are the problem behind this and superimposing these diets in India has led to the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases. It is not medication but lifestyle modifications that are the solution,” said Dr Fiona.

She added that medical practitioners such as pharmaceutical companies earn profit out of the medical issues. However, we should focus on nutrition and health rather than prevention of illness. We need to raise awareness among the common people and help them understand the impact of the lifestyle changes. The Indian government should focus on universal health coverage to ease access and equity to healthcare among all the sections in the country, she said. BMJ advances healthcare worldwide by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve experiences and outcomes. Prashant Mishra, managing director of BMJ India, mentioned the initiatives of India towards better patient outcomes internationally. “Considering the high burden of diabetes amongst all non-communicable diseases, The BMJ India started a six-month modular course in diabetes management to train medicos for the same. The same was accredited by Royal College of Medicine. Similarly, the organisation has also started a three months modular course in chronic kidney disease management. Both the local initiatives have been appreciated internationally,” said managing director of BMJ India, Prashant Mishra. – Deccan Chronicle

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