By: Ashwin Mb
On comparing the “National Health Profile 2015” with “National Health Profile 2018” — both reports published by The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, following data gives a measure of the shortfall of healthcare professionals –
As of June 2018, the average population served per government allopathic doctor is 11,039. This is 10 times more than the WHO-prescribed limit.
Number of doctors at Primary Health Centres (PHC) have fallen from 27,355 in 2014 to 27,124 in 2018. As of March 2017, India had a shortfall of 10,112 female health workers at PHCs, 11,712 female health assistants, 15,592 male health assistants and more than 6,100 female health workers and auxiliary nurse midwives at SCs.
This is not taking into account the thousands of additional paramedical staff that is required even after all shortfall is filled
The data in no way suggests that government has prioritised addressing the shortfall of healthcare professionals. The promise therefore stands broken.
They have started on this front. NMC bill is a way to bring underqualified quacks on par with medical professionals. Thereby increasing the number of doctors.