Venkaiah Naidu Calls for Addressing Shortage of Doctors

New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for addressing the shortage of trained human resources in the health sector on a war footing. Noting the low doctor to population ratio at 1:1,511 in India against the WHO norm of 1:1,000, he stressed the need for creating more medical colleges in line with the government’s intention of setting up one medical college and hospital in every district of the country.

Referring to the paucity of paramedical staff in the country, the Vice President called for improving the nurse to population ratio (1:670 in India, compared to the WHO norm of 1:300) in a mission mode. On the shortage of trained manpower in rural areas, he suggested creating better incentives and infrastructure to attract health care workers to serve in the villages.

Speaking at the convocation of the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, the Vice President noted the improvement in different health indicators since Independence. At the same time, there were many challenges that require a coordinated and concerted approach by both the government and the private sector, he added.

Referring to the 15th Finance Commission recommendations that said that states should increase spending on health to more than 8% of their budgets by 2022 and the public health expenditure of the Centre and States together should be increased in a progressive manner to reach 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025, he stressed that the first step to achieving the goal of ‘Health for All’ is to increase public spending on health.

The Vice President also called for setting up more state-of-the-art hospitals in rural areas, with proactive participation from the private sector.

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