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National News

Feb 07, 2020

Country having one doctor for every 1,404 persons: Dr Harsh Vardhan

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha today that the country is having one doctor for every 1,404 persons as against the WHO prescribed proportion of one doctor per 1,000 persons. In a written reply to a question posed by Lok Sabha member Mr Vijay Baghel, the Minister also said that as per Medical Council of India (MCI) there are a total 12, 01,354 allopathic doctors registered with the State Medical Councils/Medical Council of India as on 30th September, 2019. Assuming 80 per cent availability, it is estimated that around 9.61 lakh doctors may be actually available for active service.
The Minister also said that the Central Government has taken several steps to increase the number of medical seats in the country. In all, 29,185 MBBS seats increased during the last five years, he added. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said that the shortage of doctors varies in different states and the shortage is more due to uneven rural-urban distribution. Public health and hospitals, being a state subject, the primary responsibility to ensure availability of doctors in public health facilities lies with the State/UT Governments.
The Minister further added that financial support is also provided to states for providing performance-based incentives, hard area allowance, providing accommodation and transport facilities in rural and remote areas, sponsoring training programmes for engaged human resources to address the issue of shortage in the public health facilities.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also informed the Lok Sabha that the surveys conducted on elderly population on various social, economic and health related issues by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, it is found that the burden of morbidity in old age is high, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are extremely common and disabilities are frequent.
The Minister also said, in a written reply to Lok Sabha Member Ajay Nishad that about eight per cent of aged persons were either confined to their home or bed and the proportion of aged persons reporting confinement was found to increase with the age.

He further said that in recognition of special health care needs of elderly and to provide dedicated health care facilities to the elderly population, the Ministry is implementing National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) at various levels of primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities. Objective of the programme is to provide accessible, affordable, comprehensive and dedicated health care services to elderly population. The programme has been sanctioned for implementation in 713 districts of the country, the Minister added. 

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