‘Country needs more neurologists’

Pranita Roy
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

“Even 40-50 per cent of epilepsy patients go untreated in India,” Dr Ichaporia told Sakal Times. 

PUNE: Due to inadequate number of neuropsychologists in the country, 90 per cent of patients suffering from neuropsychological disorders go untreated. 

This was revealed by Dr NR Ichaporia, a renowned neurologist in Pune. He was present at the international workshop on ‘Neuropsychology: Putting Principles in Practice’ organised by the Psychology Department of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), in association with Society for Mental Health Awareness Research, Teaching and Training (SMARTT), Indian Psychiatric Society and Jehangir Hospital, on Tuesday. 

“Even 40-50 per cent of epilepsy patients go untreated in India,” Dr Ichaporia told Sakal Times. 

“In India, there are only 1,500 neuropsychologists and in Pune, only 25 doctors. The ratio of doctor to patient is such that every doctor has to treat 50 to 70 patients per day. The ideal is 10 patients per day. Thus, we need more neuropsychologists,” said Dr Ichaporia. The government has failed to notice the crisis. “There are no initiatives by the government for neuropsychology. The government is struggling with primary healthcare,” added Dr Ichaporia. A standardised method for neuropsychology assessment and rehabilitation has been established in Bengaluru for the southern region while there is one in Marathi in Pune so far. 

Dr Juan Arango, an expert said there is need to have standard assessment tools. “There is no statistical training in this field which is why a lot of negligence in conducting tests is found. For example, to conduct a neuro-cognitive test of a particular patient it is necessary it is taken at the place where the patient was born or has lived for a long duration as cultural factors influence the assessment and rehabilitation methods. Neuropsychologists should be careful about the language used for the test,” Dr Arango said.  Dr NR Ichaporia said there are neuro-rehabilitation centres for physical treatment but for neuro-cognitive treatment there are none.

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