Healthcare is still unaffordable in India

A recent report by the US based Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) has made a shocking revelation. Terminally ill patients suffering from treatable diseases in India have no access to life saving drugs or even to doctors who know how to administer them. ‘Lack of access to antibiotics kills more people currently than do antibiotic resistance’, says director Ramanan Laxminarayan.

In India, 65 % of health expenditure is out-of-pocket, and such expenditures ‘push some 57 million people into poverty each year’.

The present study, conducted by scientists, continues to point out how India is short of 6,00,000 doctors and 2 million nurses to take care of these patients. There is one government doctor for 10,189 patients as against the recommended ratio of 1:1000, according to a WHO report. The nurse:patient ratio is 1:183 implying a shortage of two million nurses in the country.

As for the shortage of doctors and nurses, with 235 government medical colleges having a total intake of 31,727 candidates in addition to the nine AIIMS institutions which have 800 MBBS seats, why should there be a shortage of medical personnel?

State colleges admit another 30,455 students MBBS seats while private medical colleges admit 36,165.

The Government of India increased the number of medical seats to cope with the country’s rapidly growing healthcare sector. But, where have the doctors gone?

The foreign countries where they have emigrated after utilising India’s costly medical education probably have the answer.

Indian health care professionals might balance the pro’s and con’s of working abroad. Having access to diverse facilities for continuous professional development might be one of the arguments to work abroad. CMEPEDIA want sto equalize access to such materials by re-distributing internationally accredited educational modules.


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