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The standing committee on health for the 12 five year plan has proposed adding 18,000 additional undergraduate medical seats, and nearly 11,000 post-graduate seats between 2012 and 2017.
In its report to the Union health ministry, exclusively available with TOI, the panel has recommended for the increase of undergraduate medical seats from 41,569 to 66,000 and PG seats from 20,868 to 31,000. It has proposed setting up of 30 new medical colleges with public financing in states that need them the most. It has recommended setting up of 132 Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) and 137 General Nursing Midwifery (GNM) schools through public financing with a focus on under-serviced areas and starting paramedical education courses in 149 government medical colleges and paramedical institutions in 26 states. Trained and competent human resource, the committee says, is the foundation of an effective healthcare system. India produces 30,000 doctors, 18,000 specialists, 30,000 AYUSH doctors, 54,000 nurses, 15,000 ANMs and 36,000 pharmacists annually. Yet, geographic and rural-urban imbalance exists in training and availability of human resource. Medical colleges are unevenly spread across the states with wide disparities in the quality of education. Only 193 districts of the total of 640 districts have a medical college the remaining 447 districts do not have any medical colleges, the report says. Against a World Health Organization recommended norm of 23/25 health workers (doctors, nurses, midwives) per 10,000 population, India has 19 health workers per 10,000 (doctors-6,nurses and midwives-13). The ministry has been told to orient medical education to needs of the society, starting with examining the curriculum of medical education so as to equip graduates to independently function as general practitioners, possess hands-on skills, and be sensitive to issues like social determinants of health, equity, essential medicines and generics.
Courtesy: Times of India
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