Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has today given official approval to formation of a Health Task Force for India.
"There is a huge gap in human resources in the health sector in India which includes doctors, nurses and lab technicians. This has been highlighted by the national commission on macroeconomics and health in its report," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
"There were also growing opportunities with India emerging as a major international centre for low cost healthcare. The fact that India is demographically a young nation gives it an opportunity to have its trained personnel meeting the healthcare needs of the demographically ageing countries," the statement added.
The prime minister has asked deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia to set up this task force that would have representatives from the union health ministry, ministry of health of selected states and professional experts.
This committee would map the gaps in the health sector, identify new opportunities and submit a human development plan. The current boom in medical tourism industry by private hospitals in the country makes it important that the government keeps up with the needs.
According to sources in the PMO office the development of the health sector would help stop the continuing brain drain of Indian doctors and nurses to auxiliary nursing staff, to other countries.
"Rather than have them go out of India, the task force will look at ways in which people can be encouraged to seek medical treatment at lower costs in India and provide attractive employment opportunities for people in the healthcare sector," said an official in the PMO.