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Foreign consultants fired

In an effort to limit the influence of foreign health consultants in policy making, the Indian government will progressively lay off more than one hundred of them by the end of this year. Starting with 45 by the end of June, 70 more are expected to end their services by the end of this year.

India suffered from scarce technical knowledge, which forced the country to ask help from various agencies most notably the World Health Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in order to take care and manage wide scale health programs. Many of the consultants were engaged in health issues such as management of mycobacterium and HIV. Sources indicate that about 150 foreigners are employed within the health sector.

The country now wishes to have an in house setting by Indians for Indians. Ministries the most likely to be impacted are the Ministry of Health, Woman and Child Development. According to the Indian cabinet secretariat, this move is to limit the potential influence from outside sources that would have a saying in internal policy making. Although consultants are to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the country fears the leak of confidential data. The cabinet also acknowledges the fact that some departments are considerably dependant on foreign health experts and that everyday work would come to a standstill, until these posts are replaced by domestic experts.

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