52% of India’s Allopathic doctors are practising in just 5 States

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on April 02, 2020

Centre taking steps to bring down disparity in distribution of medical practitioners, says Health Ministry

As the nation fights the pandemic, the uneven distribution of doctors remains a cause for concern in many States.

The Allopathic doctor-population ratio in India is 1:1,404, per the current population estimate of 1.35 billion. This is well below the WHO norm of 1:1,000. Interestingly 52 per cent of these doctors are practising in just five States — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu , Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) data presented to the Rajya Sabha last month show that there were 12,01,354 Allopathic doctors registered with the State Medical Councils/Medical Council of India as on September 30, 2019.

Assuming 80 per cent availability, it is estimated that around 9.61 lakh doctors may be actually available for active service, giving a doctor-population ratio of 1:1,404.

However, the Allopathic doctor population is concentrated in a few select States. Of the total, 15 per cent are working in Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu (12 per cent), Karnataka (10 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (8 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (7 per cent).

Delhi, Assam and Odisha have 2 per cent of the total Allopathic doctors while Haryana, Chhattisgarh , Uttarakhand, Telangana and Jharkhand have 1 per cent.

Alternative medicine

Besides Allopathic doctors, there are 7.88 lakh Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors in the country. Assuming 80 per cent availability, it is estimated that around 6.30 lakh AUH doctors may be actually available for service and, considered together with Allopathic doctors, it gives a doctor population ratio of 1:848.

There are 8,85,383 auxiliary nurses and midwives, 21,29,820 registered nurses and registered midwives (RN&RM) and 56,644 lady health visitors in India.

According to the MoHFW, the government has taken various steps to further increase the availability of medical staff. This includes the establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/referral hospitals in underserved districts of the country and strengthening/upgradation of existing government medical colleges to increase MBBS and PG seats.

Published on April 01, 2020

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