Govt projects to have 1.32 lakh doctors by 2020-21
New Delhi: If the claims of Health Minister JP Nadda is to be believed, the country would have 1,32,083 specialist doctors by the year 2020-21. The doctor strength projection is excluding estimated medical graduates from private medical colleges by the mentioned timeframe.
"Going by the latest figures of medical graduates, it's enough to believe that projections are achievable as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government is focusing more on capacity building," said a senior official in Health Ministry.
Giving a comparative figure, the official said, "There were 52,000 undergraduate medical students and 30,000 medical postgraduate students before 2014-15. It's the outcome of dedicated efforts of the Modi government that in just about four years nearly 16,124 seats for undergraduates and 8,500 seats for postgraduates have been increased from 2014-15 to till date."
"Not even this, there has been an increase of 5,000 seats by 58 medical colleges, while the announcement of upgradation of 24 district hospitals into medical colleges would add another 2,400 new seats," the official said, adding that the existing government medical colleges have registered an increase of 10,000 new seats.
Giving the details of projected capacity, the official said, "The government is projecting that by 2020-21, there would be 85,525 undergraduate medical seats and 46,558 postgraduate medical seats in the country."
The country is witnessing an acute shortage of doctors as there is one government allopathic doctor for every 10,189 people, one government hospital bed for every 2,046 people and one state-run hospital for every 90,343 people.
According to the latest report, there are only 4,156 doctors to look after the operation of 5,510 Community Healthcare Centres in the country. The total required strength of specialised doctors is 22,496.
Surprisingly, Tamil Nadu that claims to have a robust public healthcare system has a shortfall of 1,462 doctors out of total 1,540 required doctors to treat patients at CHCs.
In Bihar, the shortage of doctors is 86 per cent at CHC as out of 600 required medical practitioners, the state, which is under the NDA rule, has only 82 doctors who are deployed at CHCs. The shortage of doctors in Bihar is 518.