Thursday, April 03, 2008

Private sector can help overcome doctor shortage: Report-India-The Times of India

According to a Planning Commission report, while India is short of six lakh doctors, 10 lakh nurses and two lakh dental surgeons, Indian doctors who have migrated to developed countries form nearly 5% of their medical workforce.

"The group is of the view that the only way to accomplish this (bridging the gap in doctors) is for the medical education sector to be opened up completely for private sector participation. Other entry barriers such as the requirement of land and built-up space need also to be lowered to realistic levels in order to facilitate the opening of new colleges. Government's role should be limited to opening a few high quality institutions dedicated to research," the report said.

The report also drew attention to the very low turnout of personnel with post-graduate degrees. To combat these shortages, the 11th five-year plan envisages setting up of six AIIMS-like institutions and upgrading 13 existing medical institutes.

It is planned that 60 new medical colleges and 225 new nursing colleges would be established in the public private partnership mode.

"For several decades, Indian medical professionals have been serving not only in the Middle-East but also in several English speaking developed countries, including the US and the UK," said Anwarul Hoda, member (international economics) of the Planning Commission, who headed the high-level group that prepared the report.

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