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India has one doctor per 1000 people; NITI Aayog bats for specialists

Increasing the number of MBBS and specialist doctors in the country was most necessary for adequate health care to the people of the country , said Vinod K Paul, member NITI Ayog, while addressing the Foundation Day function of Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) here on Thursday.

“We have a deficit of doctors. India has one doctor per 1000 population or 1.3 doctor if we add Ayush practitioners, whereas developed nations have three doctors for same population volume,” said Paul.

“The need is even greater for specialists ,” he pointed out.

He said that use of DNB courses and district residency programme (DRP) should be made to increase number of specialists in the country. Under DRP, one-fourth of the candidates are posted with district hospitals for better learning and service to patients.

In Uttar Pradesh, the DRP was introduced earlier this year and 768 candidates from across medical colleges were posted with district hospitals for a period of three months. Once the first batch completed the posting, the second batch was postedm he said.

Paul said that the MBBS students should not worry about getting a seat in PG courses as the number of PG seats had gone up and work was on to add more seats.

If DPR was implemented properly, each district hospital would have 5 to 10 PG students, he said.

Dr Rajiv Bahl, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research and secretary to Government of India, department of health research said, “Research should not be limited to only a few institutes. All institutes must take part in it.”

“This year ICMR gave 600 grants to 203 different institutes and not many were known as institutes of national importance,” said Dr Bahl.

“There are over 68,000 PG medical seats in the country and if one-fourth are in hospitals it will help improve the service to patients and also increase the number of candidates as colleges can take additional students,” said Paul.

“The PG seats have gone up from 32,000 to over 63,000 in the country and UG medical seats are up from 52,000 to 1.8 lakh. The challenge is to increase the number of specialists in the country,” he said.

Principal secretary, medical education and health, Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma and RMLIMS director Prof Soniya Nityanand were also present. Hindustan Times

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