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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-42

Privatisation of medical education

Unit of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health, National Defence University of , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2017

Correspondence Address:
Mainul Haque
Unit of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health, National Defence University of Malaysia, Kem Sungai Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AIHB.AIHB_27_17

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How to cite this article:
Haque M. Privatisation of medical education. Adv Hum Biol 2017;7:41-2

How to cite this URL:
Haque M. Privatisation of medical education. Adv Hum Biol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Mar 27];7:41-2. Available from: https://www.aihbonline.com/text.asp?2017/7/2/41/205392

Privatisation of medical education can be defined as 'medical education imparted by an organisation not a part of the government bureaucracy'.[1] Usually, private medical schools are sponsored by a number of means and have variable intensities of regulation by the quality assurance body of government, meaning the totally autonomous or the partially autonomous institutions. These institutes are often income engendering or can be non-profit society-centred institutions. Nevertheless, the second option is rarely happening in developing countries of Asia.[2] The 'population bomb'[3] in a number of developing countries throughout the world resulted in increasing demands for medical doctors and the existing public medical schools alone could not face the increasing demand.[2] In addition, the current expansion of middle class society due to economic development in many low-income countries changes people's expectation and aspiration for higher education including medical education.[4] Thereafter, demand for privately organised medical education more escalated in many low-income countries of Asia. Subsequently, there has been a global flourish in private medical education.[1] India is the most successful country to develop undergraduate medical education and more than half of the medical schools are organised by private management.[5],[6] Over 44% of the WHO member countries reported <1 physician per 1000 population.[7] Physician/population ratio represents the availability of health service in any community. Again, the doctor/people ratio is curvilinearly related to population health status, to be precise infant mortality in many developing countries.[8] Hence, expansion of private medical education can be considered as a necessity and justifiable as a strong association has been observed between the figure of medical schools and number of doctors.[9] Nonetheless, escalating the number of medical schools in private sector has the prospect of augmenting and improving access to health care to all sections of people for any community and country.[1] In contrary, multiple studies reported that the principal intention to establish private medical school is corporate interest and profit. Studying in such schools is enormously expensive and medical students including their parents often suffer from increasing amount of bank and personal loan.[10],[11],[12] It has been also reported that private schools often suffer from exceptionally inadequate teaching staffs, residents and also clinical teaching–learning facilities.[13] Inadequate structural facilities especially clinical and hospital services of such private medical institutes generates strong apprehension for the policy makers and also common peoples of any country. As these medical schools may fail to produce community oriented holistic medical doctors because of poor professional knowledge, skills and aptitudes.[5] These issues became real worries for any community and countries, especially for health policymakers to address. Although privatisation of medical education is considered as a very powerful tool [1],[2],[5] to increase the access of health care by increasing physician density, it needs appropriate control and support by the national authority to produce high-quality medical doctors.

  References Top

Shehnaz SI. Privatisation of medical education: Viewpoints with a global perspective. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J 2010;10:6-11.  Back to cited text no. 1
Shehnaz SI. Privatization of medical education in Asia. South Asian J Med Educ 2001;5:18-25.  Back to cited text no. 2
Ehrlich PR, Ehrlich A. The Population Bomb. Cutchogue, New York: Buccaneer Books Inc.; 1971.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mudur G. Indian doctors debate increased affirmative action for lower castes. BMJ 2006;332:931.  Back to cited text no. 4
Davey S, Davey A, Srivastava A, Sharma P. Privatization of medical education in India: A health system dilemma. Int J Med Public Health 2014;4:17-22.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
Medical Council of India. List of Colleges Teaching MBBS Minimize. Available from: http://www.mciindia.org/InformationDesk/ForStudents/ListofCollegesTeachingMBBS.aspx. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 11].  Back to cited text no. 6
World Health Organization (WHO). Global Health Observatory (GHO) Data. Density of Physicians (Total Number per 1000 Population, Latest Available Year); 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/gho/health_workforce/physicians_density/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 11].  Back to cited text no. 7
Chen MK, Lowenstein F. The physician/population ratio as a proxy measure of the adequacy of health care. Int J Epidemiol 1985;14:300-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
Boulet J, Bede C, McKinley D, Norcini J. An overview of the world's medical schools. Med Teach 2007;29:20-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
Elam CL, Scott KL, Gilbert LA, Hartmann BA. A comparison of applicant and matriculant trends, and rising costs of medical education in United States medical schools and at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. J Ky Med Assoc 2003;101:201-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
Bhatt VR. Medical education: At what cost? Stud BMJ 2006;14:265-308.  Back to cited text no. 11
Supe A, Burdick WP. Challenges and issues in medical education in India. Acad Med 2006;81:1076-80.  Back to cited text no. 12
Privatization of Medical Education and its Worst Effects. IMA A.P State; 2010. Available from: http://www.imaapstate.blogspot.my/2010/05/privatization-of-medical-education-and.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 12].  Back to cited text no. 13

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Human Resources for Health. 2020; 18(1)
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