Healthcare in India has improved drastically in the last few years. Sizeable private sector investment has boosted the hospital infrastructure in India and given the obvious cost advantages, Indian healthcare sector looks better than it was in the past.
However, despite the recent improvements the healthcare system in India lags behind its neighboring countries. One of the benchmarks for healthcare efficiency is the grass root availability and government funding is a critical component which can foster the spread of effective healthcare across the nation.
The government seems to have realized the importance of effective healthcare and has embarked on a bold initiative to improve the healthcare system in India.
Indian government is planning to have medical colleges in each district. Additionally, each district hospital is to be converted into a training institute as well to train paramedical staff. Further, AYUSH doctors will also be integrated with these district medical colleges and trained to handle procedures like child birth in rural areas
I call the plan BOLD given the current density of medical colleges and the doctor to patient ratios.
- Currently, Medical Colleges are available in only 193 districts whereas 447 districts do not have a single medical college
- A doctor patient ratio 0.6 per 1000 and health workers (including midwives, nurses etc) patient ratio 2.5 per 1000 tells the tale of the obvious supply gap
No doubt, it is going to be a momentous task to create these many colleges. Funding and execution apart, the government might find it difficult to sign up enough teaching staff even though a phased approach could be an obvious solution.
However, should this happen it will be boon especially to the rural India where the state of healthcare is poor. With significant opportunities in rural India, an efficient and easily accessible healthcare system will only benefit the overall development of country.
There is no surprise on how competitive admission to medical colleges is in India. Creation of new colleges is expected to lend some sort of balance to the demand-supply issue as well.
Also, it might end up curbing the insane donations charged for admissions to private colleges by agents across the country. With more seats, aspirants will be more hopeful of making it to one of the medical colleges.
What are your thoughts on this bold initiative by the government to adorn each and every district with a medical college?
Like all initiatives, execution is going to be a key here and I sincerely hope the government is able to execute this initiative to improve the healthcare system in India