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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Opportunities galore in medical education

Article Collected by - Education is My Passion

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A huge scope of opportunities beckons medical professionals in the country in the years to come with the increasing need of professionals. Ever widening demand-supply gap of professionals in the healthcare sector is an added advantage for the youth planning their careers in the field.

The status of healthcare sector has a direct reflection of the status of medical education in the country.

According to healthcare industry, widening demand-supply gap of medical professionals is adding to inadequate infrastructure. Though the country has highest number of medical colleges in the world, 289 till last academic year, the number of medical graduates passing out has been just about 33,000 a year.

According to an estimate, there are only 6.75 lakh doctors, 73,000 dental surgeons and 10 lakh nurses available in the country against the requirement of 16 lakh doctors, 3 lakh dental surgeons and 26 lakh nurses for 110-crore population as per World Health Organisation (WHO) norms. The WHO has also forecast that about 400 million people in India will need chronic healthcare by 2015 and about 50 per cent of the world's cardio-vascular and diabetic patients will be in India.

However, the output of medical and paramedical education sector is hardly around 1.5 lakh professionals a year including 33,000 doctors, 20,000 dental surgeons and one lakh nurses.


The immediate shortfall has been put at 9.75 lakh doctors, 2.27 lakh dental surgeons and 16 lakh nurses.

To meet the demand of medical and para-medical professional the country requires another 600 new medical colleges and 1,500 new nursing colleges, as per national health profile study. Union Minister for Health Ghulam Nabi Azad announced in the Asia-Pacific Conference of Midwives held in Hyderabad earlier this month that the government was planning to open 1,500 new nursing colleges in the 11 {+t} {+h} Five Year Plan period.

In a recent workshop on healthcare sector, Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare L.V. Subramanyam stated that availability of physicians in the country was very low and the shortage was steadily growing.

Against the world average 1.3 physicians per 1,000 population, India has only 0.6 physicians. Similarly, availability of nurses was just 1.3 per 1,000 as against the world average of 2.8, as per World Health Statistics, 2009, he added.

The rural-urban divide in the distribution of resources like medical professional and infrastructure is also alarming. About 74 per cent of the medical professionals were serving in urban areas which accounted for only 28 per cent of the country's population and the remaining 26 per cent professional were taking care of the 72 per cent rural population.

Development of basic infrastructure and amenities in rural areas combined with a regulation for compulsory service in rural areas for a specified period will improve the rural healthcare status, suggests Swami Japananda, the chairman of Sri Ramakrishna Sevashrama, a Karnataka-based voluntary organisation running few primary health care centres in Tumkur and Anantapur.

Source : The Hindu 
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