Doctor-patient ratio in India less than WHO-prescribed limit.
There is only one doctor per 1,700 citizens in India; the World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulates a minimum ratio of 1:1,000. While the Union Health Ministry figures claim that there are about 6-6.5 lakh doctors available, India would need about four lakh more by 2020—50,000 for PHCs; 0.8 lakh for community health centres (CHC); 1.1 lakh for 5,642 sub-centres and another 0.5 lakh for medical college hospitals. By any reckoning, it’s a tall order, admits Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
In May 2015, Health Minister J P Nadda said 5,500 doctors pass out every year in India and there was an increase in the number of doctors posted in primary health care centres in rural areas from 22,608 in 2007 to 27,355 in 2014.
Replying to a question on doctors' reluctance to serve in rural areas, he said studies have identified various reasons for this including a feeling of professional isolation and a disparity in the living conditions.
"Estimates from studies indicate that there are about four times as many allopathic doctors per 10,000 population in urban areas as compared to the rural areas. This includes doctors in private and public sector," Nadda said.