[Answered] Discuss the factors contributing to the increasing number of doctors in India. Also, highlight the implications of this development.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain some factors contributing to the increasing number of doctors in India. Also, write some implications of this development.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

To achieve a modest doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1,000, India will need 2.07 million more doctors by 2030, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Public Health. India has increased its number of medical colleges and MBBS seats and it is closer to the target of one doctor per 1,000 population on aggregate.

The following factors are contributing to the increasing number of doctors in India:

  • Between 1980 and 2010, private colleges mushroomed while government investment slowed down. In this period, 144 private medical colleges came up, compared to just 55 government ones.
  • Since 2011, a large number of new government colleges have been opened, especially in the southern and western states and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The number of UG (undergraduate) seats has increased from 51,348 before 2014 to 91,927 seats as on date.
  • The government has relaxed the norms for setting up medical colleges in terms of the requirement for faculty, staff, bed strength and other infrastructure.
  • The government has taken several initiatives to improve the doctor-population ratio such as a centrally sponsored scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges by upgrading district/referral hospitals.

Implications:

  • The increase in the number of colleges comes at the price of poor-quality teaching and trainingand hence poorly equipped doctors as more MBBS seats do not mean greater accessibility.
  • Moreover, MBBS graduates treating people without proper training is injustice to the citizens as they are expected to take charge in primary health centres to get initial training.
  • While the number of doctors has risen from 0. 5 in 2000 to 0. 9 per thousand, close to the WHO yardstick, the distribution is skewed. g. north and northeast India facing shortage while south and west India have the highest concentration.
  • The shortage of trained doctors has led to a proliferation of unqualified quacks. These quacks are usually trained in alternative remedies, such as homeopathy, but advertise themselves as qualified medical professionals to patients desperately seeking help.

Medical institutions should motivate the upcoming doctors to provide their education and services in rural parts of the country as well as remind them that the profession revolves around saving lives. Rural areas should have access to easy travel and help patients get to hospitals for betterment and cure. For this, more spending on healthcare is needed.

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