An artistic medical expo in Kerala includes live surgery and virtual reality exhibits. Thiruvananthapuram medical college has extended an artistic medical expo from January 31st to February 13th. The event, named “Medex” began on the 3rd January and has seen upwards of 1.5 lakh (150,000) visitors over the last month. This unexpected popularity of the event has inspired the medical college to continue with the displays for a further two weeks.
The event is providing an artistic representation of various bodily structures and diseases. Alongside the medical events there have been a number of artistic exhibits, bringing the total number of attractions to over a thousand.
Over one crore rupees (ten million) has been made, according to the organisers of Medex. The profits are intended to be used for development of the medical college.
The success of the event could lead to similar endeavours across the country. There could be a number of positive outcomes to this type of expo being a more widespread phenomenon. It would provide further funding for medical colleges in India, as well as possibly provide a more extensive base knowledge of common medical conditions to the public.
Both these potential eventualities are well needed, India is falling under constant criticism for its inadequate medical training facilities. The extra funding may provide a chance at addressing these numerous issues with India’s medical colleges.
Far more doctors are needed with numbers currently standing at one government doctor per 11,528 people. In conjunction with this the training methods need to be brought to modern standards, with India’s Health Secretary from 2009-2010 Sujatha Rao saying “The market has been flooded with doctors so poorly trained they are little better than quacks”.
Income inequalities have also created a situation where teachers at the medical school are paid low wages in comparison with potential career paths that those holding the relevant medical degrees may follow. The results of this is that the best quality candidates, and therefore teachers capable of imparting higher quality medical knowledge to the students, do not pursue a role as a teacher. Colleges therefore opt for lesser quality candidates that will accept the lower wage, massively reducing teaching quality in doing so.
The medical expos would also play a role in increasing public awareness of disease. This is a large factor in why so many diseases spread so quickly throughout the population. Studies have demonstrated that the Indian public even when possessing a basic knowledge of a medical condition, do not know, or simply do not attempt to change behaviours accordingly to prevent furthering the infection.
Should the concept of the medical expo be used in medical colleges elsewhere in India, perhaps with smaller scale versions utilised in more rural areas, the potential for improvements for medical infrastructure is vast. With improved public knowledge of disease combined with increased funding for medical training, it could provide a much needed boost to India’s health services.