New Delhi: Long queues at most rural hospitals in the country are a clear indication of shortage of doctors. And this is a crisis that no government has been able to tackle till now.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been pushing the Health Ministry to set up private medical colleges, but his plea has fallen on deaf ears. For the past eight months, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has failed to get the Medical Council of India change the laws that will help private sector enter the field of medical education.
“We need to amend the laws. Till now private medical education has been managed by trusts,” Health Secretary Naresh Dayal said.
Big private health corporates have been waiting for long to get into medical education.
Going by the numbers, for every 1,634 people there is just one allopathy doctor. The country has only 271 medical colleges, 138 of them government-owned and most private colleges are in south India.
Twenty-one medical colleges in UP, 10 in Bihar, five in Madhya Pradesh and four in Rajasthan are immediately required.
Meanwhile, a Parliament standing committee has strongly recommended the construction of medical colleges especially in north India to remove the regional imbalance and to stop the acute shortage. Till then we will have to do with one medical college for 50 lakh people.
“Just because the Health Minister is from south India doesn't mean that all development in the medical profession should take place there,” Chairman, Parliament Standing Committee, Amar Singh said.
Ramadoss faces an uphill task and as the delay gets prolonged, the PMO feels that instead of creating six new AIIMS, the Health Minister should get the basics right.