There are 9.29 lakh doctors registered in the Indian Medical Register as on 31.03.2014, according to the Medical Council of India (MCI). It is estimated that around 7.4 lakh doctors may be available for active service.
It gives a doctor-population ratio of 1:1674 against the WHO norm of 1:1000. Besides, there are an estimated 6.77 lakh AUH doctors in the country. If the Allopathic and AUH streams are considered together, it gives a doctor availability ratio of 1:855.
The Government has taken the following steps in order to enhance the availability of doctors in the country:
- The ratio of teachers to students has been revised from 1:1 to 1:2 for all MD/MS disciplines and 1:1 to 1:3 in subjects of Anesthesiology, Forensic Medicine, Radiotherapy, Medical Oncology and Surgical Oncology.
- DNB qualification has been recognized for appointment as faculty to take care of shortage of faculty.
- Enhancement of maximum intake capacity at MBBS level from 150 to 250.
- Enhancement of age limit for appointment/extension/re-employment against posts of teachers/dean/principal/ director in medical colleges from 65-70 years.
- Relaxation in the norms for setting up of a medical college in terms of requirement for land, faculty, staff, bed/ bed strength and other infrastructure.
- Strengthening/upgradation of State Government Medical Colleges for starting new PG courses/Increase of PG seats with fund sharing between the Central and State Government in the ratio of 75:25.
- Establishment of New Medical Colleges by upgrading district/referral hospitals preferably in underserved districts of the country with fund sharing between the Central Government and States in the ratio of 90:10 for NE/special category states and 75:25 for other states.
- Strengthening/ upgradation of existing State Government/Central Government Medical Colleges to increase MBBS seats with fund sharing between the Central Government and States in the ratio of 90:10 for NE/special category states and 70:30 for other states with the upper ceiling of the cost per MBBS pegged at Rs.1.20 crore.
The Health Minister, Shri J P Nadda stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.