India will have 2,500 new hospitals thereby creating 2.5 million additional jobs in the next 5 years, says Dr. V K Paul, Member (health), NITI Aayog. By 2024, India is also likely to attain the WHO norm of having one doctor for every thousand patients, he said.
Speaking at the launch of certificate course on ‘Specialist Training To Tackle The Burden of NCDs’organized by FICCI, Dr. Paul added that with the improvement in the ease of doing business in the private healthcare sector, new players will enter the sector which will not only create new employment opportunities but also provide better healthcare services.
FICCI, jointly with NITI Aayog, has been working on identifying innovative alternate methods of strengthening the number of specialized doctors in India that can be scaled-up, especially for high burden diseases and conditions. In continuation to this, FICCI has partnered with ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to launch the first of its kind Diabetes Certification Course for General Practitioners (GP), considering the WHO statistics of 69.2 million Indians suffering from diabetes in 2015 and not enough endocrinologists to deliver specialized care.
Dr. V K Paul said, “The ECHO model is unique in more than one ways, but what makes this program even more unique is the partnership with the industry through FICCI”. He also highlighted that the government has made provisions to double the number of UG seats in medical education by 2024, but attaining the required number of specialist doctors is five times more difficult agenda. He further added that 80,000 PG seats will be added by 2024, with the participation of private sector healthcare providers.
Manoj Jhalani, AS & MD (NHM), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India highlighted the quadruple challenge of quantity, quality, right skill-mix and physical distribution of human resources for healthcare. He said, “It is important to empower primary health teams and General Physicians (GPs). The Ministry is working on several aspects to increase the number of specialist doctors in the country and is also exploring participatory approaches for engaging private sector like a contribution for stipends paid to DNB students at both public and private hospitals.”
Sharing ECHO’s vision of touching 1 billion lives by 2025, Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Founder & Director, Project ECHO said, “Out of the 1 billion, we want to reach 400 million beneficiaries in India, through training doctors using the ECHO model of integrated guided practice. India needs to exponentially increase its capacity building programs and this is not possible without leveraging technology.” He said that through these partnerships about 1,000 training hubs can be set up in India. This can be a game changer and once proven successful, can be replicated to other disease conditions or specialties or to other sectors like primary education, he added. – BW People