India's vice president urges addressing shortage of medical workers nationwide

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 25, 2021
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NEW DELHI, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- India's Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for national efforts to address the shortage of trained human resources in the South Asian country's health sector.

Naidu made the remarks when addressing a convocation of the University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

He stressed the low doctor-to-population ratio in the country and said there was a dire need to bridge the gap by creating more medical colleges.

According to him, in India at present the doctor-to-population ratio is 1:1,511, lower than the World Health Organization (WHO) norm of 1:1,000.

The vice president also called for improving India's nurse-to-population ratio which is also currently below the WHO norm.

"Unfortunately, there is also a paucity of paramedical staff -- nursing professionals, midwives, medical technicians, among others. We have a nurse to population ratio of 1:670, falling short of the WHO norm of 1:300," he said.

"We need to correct this situation in a mission mode," he noted.

"In view of the shortage of manpower in the rural areas, I had suggested the need to make rural service mandatory before giving the first promotion to young government doctors," he said.

"By establishing more state-of-the-art hospitals, better incentives, and improving housing and infrastructure for the medical community, we need to attract more doctors to the rural areas," said the vice president.

Naidu also said the first step to achieve the goal of "Health for All" in India is to increase the public spending on health.

"The 15th finance commission has recommended that states should increase spending on health to more than 8 percent of their respective budgets by 2022 and the public health expenditure of the center (federal government) and states together should be increased in a progressive manner to reach 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025," he said.

Naidu said paramedical personnel in India has played a critical role in combating COVID-19.

"The importance of the service they render came to the fore during the pandemic as they worked tirelessly over the past year," he said. "The need of the hour is to leverage the innate skill among our youth to train more allied health workers and assign a larger role for them in our public health." Enditem

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