The recent report of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) about physicians in Bangladesh investing only 48 seconds to each patient who seeks primary consultation has become viral in social media sites. People are sharing this news vastly and some are even ‘trolling’ with funny ‘memes’.
Perhaps they do not know that neighbouring India and Pakistan are the other countries who are close to Bangladesh with the length of medical consultation averaging 2-2.3minutes and 1.3 minutes, respectively, according to the largest international study on consulting time, published in medical journal BMJ Open.
One hundred and seventy-nine studies were identified from one hundred and eleven (111) publications covering two crore, eight five lac, seventy thousand and seven hundred twelve (28,570,712) consultations in 67 countries under the study.
The average consultation length differed across the world, ranging from 48 seconds in Bangladesh to 22.5 minutes in Sweden, showed the study findings.
“We found that 18 countries representing about 50 percent of the global population spend 5 min or less with their primary care physicians. We also found significant associations between consultation length and healthcare spending per capita, admissions to hospital with ambulatory sensitive conditions such as diabetes, primary care physician density, physician efficiency and physician satisfaction,” according to medical journal BMJ.
The study finds out that there are international variations in consultation length and it is concerning that a large proportion of the global population can have only a few minutes with their primary care physicians.