No shortage of doctors: Ramadoss

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The government today asserted that there was no shortage of doctors and nurses in the country and denied any proposal to set up a task force to assess the ''shortage of medical professionals and healthcare workers.'' As per information furnished by Medical Council of India at present there are 6,83,682 allopathic registered doctors in the country. Apart from this, there are 271 medical colleges with 31,172 annual intake capacity and students passing out from these medical colleges every year are also adding to the strength of doctor in the country. Moreover, there are more than 6 lakhs practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy in the country, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss informed the Lok Sabha today in a written reply.

However, there was an imbalance in the availability of doctors in the rural and urban areas of the country. As regard nurses, currently, there are 1597 Graduate Nursing Midwifery (GNM) Schools functioning in the country with an intake capacity of 80000 students (approximate) per year.

To expand the facilities of Medical Education and health related services, under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) the Government has decided to set up six AIIMS like institutions in under served-states and also to upgrade 13 existing Government Medical College / Institutions in ten States. Further, the Government encourages setting up of new colleges in the Government as well as private sector and also increase intake of medical students, he pointed out.

Moreover, the Government is also exploring the possibilities to allow utilisation of district hospitals as teaching hospital by the promoters of private medical colleges under public private partnership model in the underserved areas in the country and NRHM focus states.

Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), all PHC's are envisaged to be strengthened by upgrading single doctor PHC to 2 doctors PHC by posting of AYUSH practitioners and skilled nurses at PHC level. The States are encouraged to appoint doctors, specialists and paramedics on contractual basis. Multi-skill training of doctors and in-service training of ANMs / Nurses is done.

The States have been requested to strengthen their nursing cadre.

Requirement of funds for establishment/strengthening of nursing and ANM schools, as incorporated in the PIP of some States under NRHM (2006-07) has been approved. Strategic frame work has been prepared to meet shortage of nurses in future by establishing Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) and General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) schools in those districts (230) which are not having both these training programmes.

To check the exodus to doctors and also to attract the doctors to join Central Health Services (CHS), the Government is providing better service conditions e.g. higher pay and allowances, better promotional avenues, increase in age of retirements like to CHS doctors. A proposal to make mandatory rural posting is also under consideration of the Government, he added.

UNI

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