‘There are No Shortages of Doctors and Nurses in India’, Says Minister

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 2 2007 11:28 AM

There is no shortage in the aggregate number of doctors and nurses in the country. As per information furnished by Medical Council of India (MCI), at present there are 6,83,682 allopathic registered doctors in the country. Besides, 30,922 doctors pass out from 269 medical colleges every year adding to the strength of doctor in the country. In addition, there are more than 6 lakh practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy in the country. However, there is an imbalance in the availability of doctors in the rural and urban areas of the country.

As regard nurses, according to the Report of the National Commission on Macroeconomic and Health, around 3.25 lakh nurses would be required by 2015. There are 1597 Graduate Nursing Midwifery (GNM) Schools functioning in the country with an intake capacity of 80000 students (approximately) per year.

In order to expand the facilities of Medical Education and Health related services, under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) the Government has decided to set up six AIIMS like institutions in under served-states and also to upgrade 13 existing Government Medical College / Institutions in ten States. Further, the Government encourages setting up of new medical college in the Government as well as private sector and also in increase in intake capacity of medical stundents.

Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), all PHC’s are envisaged to be strengthened by upgrading single doctor PHC to 2 doctors PHC by posting of Ayush practitioner and skilled nurses at PHC level. The States are encouraged to appoint doctors, specialists and paramedics on contractual basis. Multi-skill training of doctors and in-service training of ANMs/Nurses is done. The States have been requested to strengthen their nursing cadre. Requirement of funds for establishment / strengthening of nursing and ANM schools, as incorporated in the PIP of some States under NRHM (2006-07) has been approved.

Strategic frame work has been prepared to meet shortage of nurses in future in the following manner:-

(i) Establishing Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) and General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) schools in those districts (230) which are not having both these training programmes.
(ii) Establishing post graduation Nursing [M.Sc. (Nursing)] Institutions.
(iii) Regional Institute of Excellence be established with the objective of improving the standard on all India basis and provide opportunity to access high quality Nursing Education through out the country.
(iv) Developing Cadre of nurse midwifery practitioners and establishing training institutions.
In order to check the exodus of doctors and also to attract the doctors to join Central Health Services (CHS), the Government is providing better service conditions e.g. higher pay and allowances, better promotional avenues, increase in age of retirements etc. to CHS doctors. A proposal to make mandatory rural posting of doctors is under consideration of the Government.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.