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How easy is it for Indian doctors to take childcare leave when compared to US and Japan doctors? (M3 India survey)

M3 India Newsdesk Jul 06, 2018

For doctors achieving family goals along with career goals may often be hard because the profession demands so much from them that even taking a short break to care for their new-born child can be quite hard. M3 India’s survey tries to understand how many doctors in India, US, and Japan have taken child care leaves and how difficult they find the process to be.


Here is what part 5 of the survey reveals.

Taking childcare leaves- Female vs male doctors*

Only 58% of Indian female doctors have ever taken childcare leave. The percentage is slightly higher (63%) among female doctors in the US but lower in Japan (52%).


Maternity leave policies vary among different countries, but the usual norm is 3 months (12 weeks) of paid/unpaid maternity leaves for a new parent. This leave policy was recently raised in India from 12 to 26 weeks as on April 2017 under the 2017 Amendments of the Maternity Benefit Act. But, despite this revision, only a little more than half of female doctors surveyed in India agree to have taken childcare leave. A similar situation presents among Japanese doctors too. The percentage is only slightly higher in the US where 63% of female doctors agreed to have taken parental leave.

Surprisingly, a higher percentage of male doctors (18%) in India have taken parental leave versus their male doctors in US and Japan. The situation in India could be such because more hospitals (at least private institutions) are providing paid paternity leaves to new fathers and more people are taking advantage of this provision. However, even though similar parental leaves persist for male doctors (ranging between one to two weeks) in other countries, only 10% of male doctors surveyed in US and 4% in Japan, agreed to have taken childcare leave.

How difficult is it to take parental leave?*

Most of the doctors surveyed in India (35%) mention that it is quite difficult to take childcare leave. The results for US and Japan are similar too.


Surprisingly, even though Indian doctors confirmed on having taken parental leave, 35% of them have mentioned that they found it particularly hard to be granted the period off from work, despite the Maternity Benefit Act stating so. This could be because even though the act is in place, most institutions may lack clarity on the act or be unwilling to support it. Ad hoc residents may particularly face a hard time applying for parental leaves because they are not regular, permanent employees of a medical institution.

This situation is similar in the other two countries- US and Japan as well. 34% doctors in US and 27% doctors in Japan agree that they too had a difficult time requesting for and being granted childcare leaves.

Key findings

In this part of the survey, two of the important findings are:

  • Among those who participated in the survey, almost a similar percentage of doctors have taken childcare leaves, with the percentage of US doctors being slightly higher then Indian and Japanese doctors.
  • Despite taking the required childcare leave, doctors in all three countries have mentioned that they find it difficult to take off for childcare while trying to actively establish themselves in their careers. The percentage is especially high for India, where more doctors have agreed to facing difficulty requesting for parental leave.

To read part 1 of the survey, which discusses about work days and work hours for doctors in India, US, and Japan, click here.

To read part 2 of the survey which discusses doctor workload among doctors in India, US, and Japan, click here.

To read part 3 of the survey which discusses professional satisfaction among doctors in India, US, and Japan, click here.

To read part 4 of the survey which discusses about when doctors in India, US, and Japan decide on their career and if they would recommend their professions, click here.

To read part 6 of the survey which investigates work-life balance of doctors in India, US, and Japan, click here.

To read part 7 of the survey which discusses doctors' views on the healthcare systems in their respective countries- India, US, and Japan, click here.

To read part 8 of the survey which reveals the country that ranks best across various parameters like healthcare system, quality of medical care, work environment, salary, and basic medical reasearch, click here.


*This data should be read as indicative of rather than exact figures.

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