Doctor shortage in India has become a prominent setback as the nation consistently tries to offer adequate medical services to its residents. Despite two decades of robust economic progress, the average life span in India drops short in comparison to relatively developing and developed countries. A major cause identified for the rise of this issue in India due to the lack of healthcare accessibility. Over millions of people primarily in rural areas are denied healthcare access due to reachability hindrances and cost of care.
The lack of quality care in the public health sector and the immeasurable wait time has caused the care seekers to increasingly turn towards private sector hospitals. This drives high out-of-pocket costs which escalate the gravity of the problem. The distinct gap in the affordability and accessibility of the Indian health care system is evident across all regions.
Even during the pandemic situation occurred out of COVID-19, a notable challenge faced by the healthcare industry is the shortage of personal protective equipment due to its high demand in healthcare centres.
How to address doctor shortages and healthcare absenteeism in India:
The innovative technology of healthcare and modern policy services, however, seems to be a possibility that healthcare will be more readily accessible and that younger generations will lead better happier lives.
Despite the enormous problems confronting the Indian public health system, a range of Indian hospitals are collaborating with internationally trained specialists to establish creative approaches that provide quality treatment on a scale. The economic strategy of such hospitals is focused on attracting wealthier customers to subsidize coverage for low-income customers.
Poorer areas around the nation have little links to hospitals and clinics. Patients that need help to undergo long-distance traveling and frequently opt for treatments in the most accessible places rather than having the advanced treatments that their illnesses need. In such circumstances, robust steps may be taken by the Indian government to increase the outreach of medical training and infrastructure.
As per the NATHEALTH Aarogya Bharat Research, India is witnessing an unprecedented scarcity of approximately 4 million nurses and 2 million doctors. Required human capital and public services are extremely high in rural regions as compared to the urban regions.
In accordance with the National Health Profile 2019, the allopathic doctor-patient ratio in rural regions has reported being 1:10,926. Further, even in urban areas, the ratio is 1:1457 which is remotely lower than the WHO recommended ratio of 1:1000.
Therefore. there is an urgent need to increase the medical institutions and training in the country. The government may further formulate lucrative policies to attract students studying MBBS abroad to practice in India.
Cost of Healthcare
According to a research report by the telegraph, the high cost of medical care in India is forcing more than 57 million people towards poverty every year. The Indian government needs to intervene in this situation and provide affordable health care by encouraging robust and scalable technology and setting up remotely accessible hospitals.
Synchronization of the Public and Private Health Sector
Collaboration between the private and public sectors is required to address the human resources disparity in the Indian Medical system. This collaboration may encourage the contribution of the private sector in the medical education of students and establish a higher number of Diplomate of National Board seats and establish the best medical universities in the world.
The National Medical Commission Bill
Health practitioners today need to have expertise, experience, and integrity to provide patients with healthy, reliable, secure, timely, and accessible treatment. The execution of this objective leads the government to formulate the NMC bill with the intent to create affordable, transparent, and accessible health care. This bill, however, has faced strong opposition from medical practitioners on grounds of quackery and practice by mid-level providers (clause 32).
Community Health Providers (CHPs)
The medical professionals who are hostile to the Bill have little understanding of who such ‘private health providers’ are and how they will be educated by the government. The government’s proposal to offer training to community health professionals and improve the country’s primary care program is a good decision-making strategy. It would also ensure the provision of quality health services to people residing in rural and remote regions.
The impediment in this bill is that it does not provide a clear definition of “limited license” and “mid-level practitioner”. This is giving rise to insecurity and confusion to the current medical practitioners. Therefore, the government may take steps to reduce the ambiguity of the Bill and anticipate the robust implementation of the revised bill that communicates the harmless nature of CHPs to current medical practitioners.
The shortage of doctors in India is a real-life crisis and demands immediate attention from the government, community, and private health care sectors. The concept of CHPs can potentially share an immense level of the burden from the shoulders of mainstream practitioners. The solution to minimizing the gap of the doctor shortage in India is to develop policies that encourage increased output of medical students from MCI approved medical colleges abroad and offer them lucrative incentives to practice in India.
The American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUA COM) is recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The university offers study MBBS in Antigua and practice medicine in the USA, UK, India, and Canada. It is also accredited, approved, and recognized by Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), and UK’s General Medical Council (GMC). It offers BSc to MD and residency programs to aspiring medical students. Students at AUA also get the opportunity to obtain practical knowledge through clinical rotations in different teaching hospitals affiliated with the US including Florida International University (FIU) affiliated hospital sites during their third and fourth years of medical school. This session helps them to understand the struggle that a doctor goes through while at the ground.
So be a part of the University to sharpen your diagnostic ability, adaptability, along with developing your level of patience as a healthcare service provider.