India requires 1.4 million doctors, 2.8 million nurses

New Delhi: Despite its growing economic prowess, India ranks among the bottom five countries with the lowest public health spending globally and accounts for 21 per cent of the world’s burden of disease, according to a new report by Accenture.

The report, titled ‘Delivering e-Health in India – Analysis and Recommendations’, focuses on the access to healthcare systems in India as per global and regional standards. It highlights the current status of the Indian healthcare industry and its growth in the past decade.

Highlighting the substantial gaps in healthcare infrastructure, the report says, “Hospital bed density in India has stagnated at 0.9 per 1000 population since 2005 and falls significantly short of WHO laid guidelines of 3.511 per 1000 patients’ population. Moreover, there is a huge inequity in utilization of facilities at the village, district and state levels with state level facilities remaining the most strained.”

Analysing the inadequacy of medical manpower, the report says, “India is currently known to have approximately 600,000 doctors and 1.6 million nurses. This translates into one doctor for every 1,800 people. The recommended WHO guidelines suggest that there should be 1 doctor for every 600 people. This translates into a resource gap of approximately 1.4 million doctors and 2.8 million nurses. There is also a clear disparity in the manpower present in the rural and urban areas.”

“While the system has evolved in India over the past 50-60 years, the coverage and service levels of the entire public health ecosystem remain inadequate. Indian healthcare system continues to suffer from underfunding and poor governance, which have created significant inequities in providing basic healthcare,” states a media release by Accenture.[Source]

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