The number of qualified allopathic doctors registered with state medical councils or MCI nearly halved to less than 16,000 in 2014
India has only 938,861 registered allopathic doctors. Photo: HT
India has only 938,861 registered allopathic doctors or just seven doctors per 1,000 people, according to a report released by health minister J.P. Nadda on Tuesday.
The report, prepared by the Central Bureau for Health Intelligence (CBHI), states Maharashtra and Bihar have the worst doctor to patient ratios, with each doctor serving 27,790 and 28,391 patients, respectively. Chhattisgarh is a close third with a doctor to patient ratio of 1 is to 25,032.
The number of qualified allopathic doctors registered with state medical councils or Medical Council of India (MCI) nearly halved to less than 16,000 in 2014. The data for 2014 is provisional. The number of registered dental surgeons, on the other hand, has been on a steady rise since 1994. In the capital, each allopathic doctor serves 2,203 patients while a dental surgeon caters to 64,398 patients.
India also has 154,000 dental surgeons and 737,000 Ayush doctors, meaning those that practise alternative medicine systems such as Ayurveda and Homeopathy, according to the report. India’s 400 medical colleges produce approximately 47,000 doctors each year. Maharashtra had the highest number of registered doctors at 148,575 closely followed by Tamil Nadu at 102,328 while Arunachal Pradesh had the least at 510.
One government hospital bed serves 1,833 people on an average. The worst ratios are in Bihar (8,789) and Jharkhand (6,052). According to the report, there are 20,306 hospitals which have 675,779 beds in the country. There are 183,602 beds in rural areas and the urban areas have 492,177 beds.
The Centre’s share of public expenditure on health, which has been extremely low as a share of its GDP, has fallen over the last two years. Among all states, undivided Andhra Pradesh had the highest public expenditure on health in 2012-13.
The state also has the highest number of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) – 134,694- working while the number is a dismal 641 in Arunachal Pradesh. The seven states in the northeast and Goa spent the most on health per capita while Bihar and Jharkhand spent the least.
Out-of-pocket private expenditure on health has risen steadily over the years, with the cost of medicines, followed by that of hospitalisation accounting for the largest share of the household expenditure. Amongst states, Kerala spends the most privately on health.
Every government hospital serves an estimated 61,000 people in India, with one bed for every 1833 people, new official data shows. In undivided Andhra Pradesh, every government hospital serves over 3 lakh patients while in Bihar, there is only one bed for every 8800 people.
Union Minister for Health J.P. Nadda released the National Health Profile 2015 prepared by the Central Bureau for Health Intelligence (CBHI) on Tuesday along with officials of the Ministry, the Directorate General of Health Services and the CBHI.
Every government allopathic doctor serves a population of over 11,000 people, with Bihar and Maharashtra having the worst ratios. The number of qualified allopathic doctors registered with medical councils fell in 2014 to 16,000, or less than half the previous year’s number; the data was however provisional, CBHI officials said. India now has cumulatively 9.4 lakh allopathic doctors, 1.54 lakh dental surgeons, and 7.37 lakh AYUSH doctors of whom more than half are Ayurvedic doctors. India’s 400 medical colleges admit an estimated 47,000 students annually.
Deaths from most communicable diseases have been falling steadily in India. Despite recording over 10 lakh cases, deaths from malaria are officially down to just over 500 annually; Odisha accounted for over one in three cases of malaria in 2014. The number of recorded chikungunya cases has fallen since a 2010 outbreak, but Maharashtra accounts for nearly half of all cases. Just over 40,000 cases of dengue were officially reported in 2014 and 131 deaths. While the number of cases of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease has risen every year to 1.16 crore in 2014, mortality from the disease has been steadily declining.
However, 2014 saw a sharp spike in cases and deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, a disease concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, and West Bengal. Japanese Encephalitis, concentrated in Assam and Uttar Pradesh also rose last year. Pulmonary tuberculosis remains the biggest communicable disease killer in India, accounting for over 63,000 deaths in 2014. Since disease data is largely reported from government health facilities only, it is likely to be heavily underestimated, CBHI officials said.
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise with cardiovascular diseases according for a quarter of deaths from non-communicable diseases and cancer accounting for six per cent.