The Opinions And Perceptions Of Sri Lankan Physicians

1279 words - 5 pages

The void in available literature outline that the importance of the role of healthcare providers has been seemingly underestimated when determining legitimate initiatives for the improvement of healthcare and health outcomes in low to middle-income nations. When documenting key health determinants for a developing country, lack of access to healthcare is included among characteristics of a weak healthcare infrastructure; other characteristics often include undeveloped technology and low education and socio-economic levels in target populations. Common strategies in strengthening healthcare systems, however, usually only include creating hospital centers in rural areas, providing for transportation of patients, and increasing awareness and prevention of disease. There are very few studies that can be found regarding the status of current or future healthcare workers, the availability of workers, or the use of training new, permanent health workers as a resource for improving access to care .
Recently, the trend of a diminishing physician population has been identified as a great concern to healthcare systems across the globe. Both developing and developed nations are facing a shortage of physicians and nurses now or in the near future. While developing nations are experiencing a loss of investment in training doctors and nurses as they emigrate to practice in high-income countries, the immigrant physicians do not suffice for reversing the falling ratio of doctors to patients seen even in the developed world 9. Provided with higher pay, better work conditions, and a lower number of patients in upper-income countries, physician retention has become a major concern in countries already experiencing low health expenditures and physician shortages. Developing nations such as Kenya, India, and Sri Lanka invest substantial government funds in training doctors, but these countries cannot afford the necessary resources required to entice physicians to remain and practice in their home locales 9. Developed nations such as the United States cannot keep up with the demand for healthcare providers. In the next ten to twenty years, the United States will see a shift in the population dynamics as the labor era of the “Baby Boomers” comes to an end and the elderly population doubles, severely increasing healthcare usage and expenditure, while the same generation’s large physician base retires 11. Furthermore, in developed nations , though they currently have an acceptable doctor to patient ratio for basic healthcare, a lengthy education encourages physicians to decide to specialize, investing slightly more time for much higher pay and leaving these nations with a growing need for non-specialist practitioners 4.
As a low to middle-income country, Sri Lankan health expenditure relative to their GDP is fairly high. Spending 4% of their total GDP on healthcare, Sri Lankan per capita health expenses is $193 per year 13. In the past forty years, restructuring of...

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