While India has only about 150 positions for training Cardiologists (DM and DNB in Cardiology), less than hundred doctors eventually becomes specialists every year. There is wide gap between availability of cardiology expertise and load of cardiac morbidity in rural as well as urban area. Whatever cardiologists are trained, they are employed / practicing in metropolitan cities or large towns.
This deprives the large population of our country from the cardiology expertise. In India , where 25 percent of the population are living below poverty line (2002) and more than 70 percent of them are living in rural area, most of the trained cardiologist are concentrated in the costly sophisticated tertiary care hospitals which are situated in the urban area. Since high tech hospitals are not only unaffordable but also non-accessible for most of the people of the country.
This Programme will have a great social relevance. Indians are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attack than Europeans. While the average age of heart attack victims in Europe is more than 60 years, the average age of Indians is between 40 to 50 making it a disease of breadwinner of the family causing major socio-economic upheavals.
We are also genetically more vulnerable for diabetes at younger age , which again leads to premature atherosclerotic disease leading to heart attack. While in USA every fourth man develops heart attack before retirement in India it is every third man developing heart attack. One out of one thousand children in our country suffer from rheumatic valvular heart disease which if not treated early leads to major complications leading premature death. One out of hundred and forty children born anywhere in the world has heart disease. India produces the largest number of children in the world.
So, for obvious reasons we produce the largest number of children with heart disease in the world. A country with over a billion population requires at least few thousands cardiologists to be produced every year to address the growing needs of the heart patients. If a doctor is trained as a Cardiologist after doing his MD in Medicine he obviously prefers to live in major city rather than migrating to smaller towns whereas if an MBBS doctor is given a course in Clinical Cardiology his chances of going to smaller towns ans semi-urban areas are bright.
To establish a core programme dedicated to train larger numbers of medical graduates in Clinical cardiology to deal effectively with the early recognition, management and prevention of common cardiovascular diseases (Non Invasive Cardiology) and associated diseases particularly Diabetes Mellitus.
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