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Brains Super Speciality Hospital
Integration should not lead to contamination

Integration has become the buzzword with many modern developments, acquisitions, expansions, and scaling-up operations. However, this should be done carefully by synchronizing both elements so that the outcome is multiplied or enhanced. The compatibility should be total so that the alignment becomes perfect without any undulations. Before such initiatives, one must carefully examine the entirety in total and the process should be laid out in proper steps to avoid any sort of confusion or contamination.

This must be awed, thought over the process and steps of alignment must be at all levels starting from the concept, structure, process, alignment, stability, objectives, long-term goals, and steps to achieve it. The validity of each of the steps must be debated, discussed, and studied in detail by the relevant experts before planning and implementation. Many times suitable modifications may be brought in right at the beginning or from time to time of integration, but there should not be any compromise on the originality of the components. The ultimate goal is to achieve the bigger benefit that should stand for the test of time.

One must ensure that no damage in any form should occur by such a process both to the systems and to the beneficiaries at large.

In India, there are many medical systems available, yet the greater majority is following the modern medical system MBBS, where the system, process, methodology, and results are very much validated not only in our country but in every other country. The medium of instruction in English has a distinct advantage in learning from abroad as well as sharing information. Off late the medical literature is growing exponentially from a gross level to cellular and molecular levels. There is a need to modify the syllabus to be tailor-made to suit our requirements and also to reduce the burden on students to learn the entire voluminous material.

It can be made to sharpen the requirements of individual specialties. The proposal to teach medicine in regional languages is certainly a regressive step. In reality, many developed countries have their textbooks in their regional languages. No doubt the entire country speaks one single language. When I went to Germany for advanced training I had to learn the language inevitably. However, all official and technical communications were in English only. Even countries like Japan are making English teaching a major national project. These countries are so self-sufficient people need not travel out of their countries.

Countries that lag in the English language such as Russia never had equal participation in international forums. They remained isolated till recently. Indian doctors had a great advantage of updating, communicating as well as projecting their work on par with developed countries. Yet our documentation system is so poor that the scientific material doesn't reach the meritorious levels it deserves. Writing abilities and speaking abilities are not parallel with the rest of the world. Indian doctors are well-recognized. For a person to communicate effectively with patients in their regional languages, particularly in their mother tongue should not be a challenge.

For that changing medium of instruction will stop progression, continuous learning, updating, publishing, and participating in international scientific forums. Leave alone one can't even interact in national forums. On the other hand, it is a Herculean task to translate all the subjects accurately. As such Indian medical degrees are not well recognized. One is forced to repeat their education at times completely and also to prove their knowledge by clearing several examinations. It is time that we focus on improving such credibility that even foreign graduates come to India to study and learn.

Integration of both traditional and modern medicine is thought that should be examined. Each of them has its credibilities. However, the validity of each system and the basic principles on which they were established differ quite significantly. In such situations validation of each must be done independently. There are significant gaps in both systems. One should identify the right process of selection, education, syllabus, teaching methodology, implementation, and careful assignment of each system to the relevant conditions. The benefit and long-term sustainability and the goals have to be defined clearly. Otherwise, it can lead to phenomenal confusion at the learning stage itself. After graduation what exactly is going to happen to specializations looks like a far-fetched idea. It may be a better idea to identify the gaps in both systems and try and fill them if at all with good evidence. Then it might become a contribution. Otherwise, there will be enough confusion in selecting, teaching as well as in treating.

Regardless of all these, the beneficiaries must have a tangible benefit. Otherwise, it will not sustain itself and may not stand the test of the times in the future. India is growing in reputation for medical care by adopting state-of-the-art infrastructure, technology, and skill sets gaining credibility and also attracting medical tourism. Even the threat like pandemics had been managed efficiently on par or better giving recognition in the world. The entire growth might be taking a beating if any integration takes place emotionally and in an ad hoc manner.

But the systems can be scientifically balanced and validated and matched that can become a new dimension altogether. Integration can happen in stages on a need basis step by step with a clear understanding to benefit mankind. I had an opportunity to settle abroad but chose to be Indian.

But every year when I attend a conference abroad feel sad that the gap is widening. These ideas will further take us backward. I wonder if we will ever be able to catch up with the developed world despite having the ability. Everything is a struggle here. Yet we keep focusing only on unimportant things. Rather every effort should be made to develop a proper system, culture, advanced research, innovation, and efficient processes. Then we can have some hope of becoming a developed country.