New Delhi (Sputnik) — Doctors in India spend no more than two minutes with a patient, according to a study published in the online medical journal BJM Open. The global study on doctor-patient consultation time lists India among the worst. Doctors of first world countries like Sweden, US and Norway give at least twenty minutes of their time to a patient.
Indian doctors are constantly overworked due to the low patients to doctor ratio. Therefore, they spend less and less time on consultations, according to the study. While the worldwide average length of a consultation is about around five minutes, India falls three times short of matching the global mean.
"Little can be achieved in less than five minutes unless the focus is largely on detection and management of a gross disease. An average of five minutes may be the limit below which consultations amount to little more than triage and prescriptions," the report says.
Health experts in India seem unsurprised at the revelations.
"The conversation and face-time of a doctor with the patient is extremely important for the recovery and cure. Both patients and the doctors are at loss due to the lack of it. Lack of such a productive interaction results in the over-reliance on medical investigations. The scenario in India is such due to the fact that there are a hundred of patients waiting outside and doctors lack the time and resource to keep up with the demand,” Dr. Bobby John, Founder of Global Health Advocates told Sputnik.
India's neighbor, Bangladesh with just 48 seconds is at bottom of the list and Sweden with 22.5 minutes per patient is the best-placed country in the report. Another of India's neighbors, Pakistan is also placed very poorly in the list with an average of under one minute consultation time. China is no better with the average of just over a minute.