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In order to bring down the shortage of doctors and improve healthcare services at the minutest level, the government is planning to have medical colleges in each district. It has plans to convert district hospitals into training institute the paramedical personnel as well.
Besides, the government also plans to integrate AYUSH doctors and have capacity building programmes for other traditional healthcare providers such as Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) so that traditional care practices and local remedies are encouraged. Health ministry sources indicated that the AYUSH doctors may be trained further to handle normal chidbirth cases in remote areas. They will also be trained to take care of serious medical cases so that the patient is stabilised before he/she is sent to bigger hospital. Ministry officials said that this help will bring down maternal and infant mortalities. Expressing concerns over the low density of doctors and paramedical staff in India the Planning Commission's approach paper for the 12th Five Year Plan, has prescribed drastic reforms to improve healthcare. As of now medical colleges are concentrated in only 193 districts of the country that have 640 medical colleges among them. The rest 447 districts do not have any medical college. Against 335 colleges, there are about 319 Auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANM) training schools, 49 health and family welfare training schools and only 34 LHV (Lady Health Visitor) schools. The present doctor patient ratio 0.6 per 1000 while the ratio of health workers (including midwives, nurses etc) is 2.5 per 1000. "To fill the gap in training needs of paramedical professionals, the 12th Plan proposes to develop each of the district hospitals into knowledge centres, and 4,535 CHCs into training institutions," says the Planning Commission report. The government has already begun work on six All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) -like medical institutions in different states. The government has so far released Rs847 crore for the purpose. These AIIMS like institutions are coming up in Bihar (Patna), Chhattisgarh (Raipur), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Orissa (Bhubaneswar), Rajasthan (Jodhpur) and Uttarakhand (Rishikesh) under the first phase of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. Over the last three years, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had announced to increase about 5,000 post graduate seats in medical colleges across the country in order to increase in the number of specialist doctors.
Courtesy: DNA India
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