Medical practices in the Punjab
Jagdeep Singh Gandhi gives a first hand insight into health care in another culture
After that stint of hard labour to cross the rocky ocean of the qualifying exams on a leaky raft of nervous revision, I decided to rest and explore the land of my ethnic roots. The subsequent trip might at best have been an invigorating vacation in the tropical sun, but instead it proved to be a journey of discovery.
My four month visit to the Punjab, a state in northern India, provided a thought provoking insight into the sharp contrast between medical practice in the developing world and in a structured healthcare system such as the NHS. The backbone of the Punjabi health culture is essentially a series of private enterprises run by an intriguing hierarchy of medical personnel. At the foot of the ladder can be found a plethora of veritable quacks, who generally have no formal training but appeal considerably to the illiterate masses. Above these in status