Commercialisation has been antagonistic to universal healthcare; the government must now step in to become a provider to its citizens.
India produces nearly 50,000 MBBS doctors across its 479 medical colleges every year. There are about 9.3 lakh doctors registered with the Medical Council of India. Out of this, doctors engaged in active professional work are presumed to be numbering at about eight lakh only. With this number, we are unable to meet the requisite of doctor to patient ratio, which is much less than what is required, as per the WHO guidelines. WHO recommends one doctor per 1,000 persons, whereas we have one doctor for 1,650 persons. Considering the population distribution in the country, we find that there is a huge urban-rural gap in this ratio, as the number of doctors serving in rural areas is proportionately much less. We thus need more doctors. It is in this context that we must review the scenario of medical education in our country.