'Doctors in Pakistan give less time to patients'

Checkup time, doctors' interest impact treatment, patient recovery, according to survey

Our Correspondent November 14, 2017

Doctors in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh spend the lowest amount of time while attending to their patients compared to the rest of the world, according to the findings of a recent survey.

Doctors in Sweden and Britain spend the highest amount of time ensuring satisfaction of their patients. Around 15 of world's most populous countries, representing half of the global population, were also included in the survey. According to the findings, doctor checkup time in these countries averaged five minutes.

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The doctors in the United States spend around 20 minutes to comprehensively examine their patients, while British doctors spend an average of 10 minutes for checkups. The highest checkup time is of Sweden, where doctors spend about 22-and-a-half minutes with each patient. India, which is a thickly populated country, has an average patient checkup time of two minutes, while Bangladesh has the lowest average with 48 seconds per patient. In Pakistan, doctors average about 1.79 minutes per patient.

The first of its kind survey explains the state of health across populous countries. It also shows that countries with low checkup time have the poorest standards of health. Checkup time and doctor's interest directly impact the treatment and patient recovery, according to the survey, which has been published in the British Medical Journal.

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Medical experts claim that declining checkup time for patients indicated poor health conditions. However, this is common in densely populated countries, which face a shortage of doctors. As a result, there is no cure to combat low checkup times. For the purpose of this research, experts studied 280 million records of patient visits to consultants as listed in 178 surveys conducted by 67 countries.

Doctors in Pakistan and India are of the view that low checkup times can mainly be attributed to a large number of patients being treated in government hospitals. In such hospitals, a single doctor must attend to over a 100 patients in a couple of hours. However, the checkup times are better in private hospitals. The authors of the survey claimed that doctors could not properly examine patients within five minutes, adding that low checkup times are likely to result in longer treatment duration and imprudent use of resources.

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