Target: WHO’s 1:1000 doctor-patient ratio


Dr Lal Path Labs

India will have 2,500 new hospitals in the next five years and thereby creating 2.5 million additional jobs, according to Dr V K Paul, Member (Health) at NITI Aayog.

By 2024, India is also likely to attain the World Health Organization (WHO) norm of having one doctor for every thousand patients, he said at an event organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on 4 May 2019.

Speaking at the launch of certificate course on ‘Specialist Training To Tackle The Burden of NCDs’, Dr Paul added that

With the improvement in the ease of doing business in the private healthcare sector, new players will enter the sector which will not only create new employment opportunities but also provide better healthcare services, said Dr Paul at the launch of certificate course on ‘Specialist Training To Tackle The Burden of NCDs’.

FICCI, jointly with NITI Aayog, has been working on identifying innovative alternate methods of strengthening the number of specialized doctors in India that can be scaled-up, especially for high burden diseases and conditions.

In continuation to this, FICCI has partnered with ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to launch the first of its kind Diabetes Certification Course for General Practitioners (GP), considering the WHO statistics of 69.2 million Indians suffering with diabetes in 2015 and not enough endocrinologists to deliver specialized care.

Commenting on the tie-up, Dr Paul said: “The ECHO model is unique in more than one way but what makes this program even more unique is the partnership with the industry through FICCI.”

He also highlighted that the government has made provisions to double the number of UG seats in medical education by 2024 but attaining the required number of specialist doctors is a five times more difficult agenda.

He further added that 80,000 PG seats will be added by 2024, with participation of private sector healthcare providers.

The quadruple challenge of quantity, quality, right skill-mix and physical distribution of human resources for healthcare was highlighted by Manoj Jhalani, AS & MD (NHM), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“It is important to empower primary health teams and General Physicians (GPs). The Ministry is working on several aspects to increase number of specialist doctors in the country and is also exploring participatory approaches for engaging private sector like contribution for stipends paid to DNB students at both public and private hospitals,” Jhalani said.

“We all quote the British, US, Cuban, Thai and Indonesian models of healthcare, but with Ayushman Bharat, an Indian model will emerge,” added Brig Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman, FICCI Health Services Committee & CMD, Dr Lal Path Labs.

Appreciating the government’s focus on health, he further added that empowering GPs on diabetes management can vastly improve patient outcomes as about 95% of the diabetics in India are being attended to by primary care doctors, GPs and family physicians.

ECHO’s vision of touching one billion lives by 2025 was shared by Dr Sanjeev Arora, Founder & Director, Project ECHO.

“Out of the one billion, we want to reach 400 million beneficiaries in India, through training doctors using the ECHO model of integrated guided practice.

“India needs to exponentially increase its capacity building programs and this is not possible without leveraging technology,” he said.

He said that through these partnerships about 1,000 training hubs can be set up in India. This can be a game changer and once proven successful, can be replicated to other disease conditions or specialties or to other sectors like primary education.

The FICCI-ECHO Diabetes Certification Course for GPs is a 20-week, tele-mentoring program that will be initially taken up as a pilot project to train 100 GPs on logical management of diabetic patients.


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