Archive for June 17th, 2016

India’s informal doctors: Assets, not quacks

June 17, 2016

Jishnu Das of World Bank chips in to support India’s several informal doctors:


This reality on the ground is more startling than even those who support IP training are willing to cede.
Part of this reflects the abysmal training and practices of many supposedly qualified doctors in India. But part of it is also because IPs are seldom people who just closed the vegetable shop and opened a clinic. As we show in forthcoming research, 91% have received training, either by working in a clinic or as a pharmacist, or through some sort of observation in clinics and hospitals. This is a model of practical training, rather than formal medical education.
Whatever the reasons, the stark reality is that IPs are the backbone of India’s primary healthcare system. Our research clearly shows that their services are comparable with or better than alternatives in rural areas. Training can increase their knowledge base and, by extension, the quality of care available for millions of poor Indians.
I understand the anxiety around this: people are nervous about heading down an uncertain path that opens up a host of regulatory and conceptual problems. There is also the issue of challenging the authority of medical doctors, and the notion, enshrined in public health psyche, that qualifications are a proxy for quality.
And critical questions remain. What if training grants ‘official’ legitimacy to IPs, empowering them to give more antibiotics and try out dangerous procedures? And would training them take pressure off the state to provide decent public healthcare to poor people?
No one knows. We have never even tried to systematically evaluate the costs and benefits of training IPs. But given the evidence of their role, this is now a critical task.

Actually given how so called formal directors have been conducting their practice (sorry business), one is not sure how bad informal doctors actually are.


What’s Wrong with Econ 101?

June 17, 2016

David Glasner says main culprit is poor teaching.

I mean how many economics students can even figure what is he saying in the post? Instead, most will say instead of reading this let us just solve a few models and equations!

Maruti Suzuki is less prone to yen volatility now…

June 17, 2016

Interesting interview by Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava.

He says how the company has reduced the impact of yen volatility on its balance sheet. No policy intervention needed:


History of branch banking in India

June 17, 2016

Within banking scholarship, research on branches is perhaps the least. And as is usually the case, it is very important. How and why banks go around opening branches is a fascinating tale of history. Studying about these bank branches and why some succeed and others fail gives you signs of local economic progress or lack of it.

In India’s case, we always had something called as indigenous banking which existed for centuries and continues to exist even till date. These bankers were different from the moneylenders as former had much larger operations and were mainly organised around caste/community lines. These indig bankers also collected deposits and facilitated payments using hundi system. Moneylenders loaned small amounts from their capital with much limited operations. Actually anyone with surplus capital and willing to lend was a money lender. But you needed a vast social and financial network to run indig banking system. It is these indig banks that had branches which helped in funds flow from one region to another. They had head offices in major area of trade and commerce and send their agents to set us bases elsewhere.

Like Mr. W.E. Preston, member, Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance (1926) said:


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