Editorial: India achieves WHO recommended doctor population ratio (4)

27 November, 2018

Both the urls didn't work for me. [*see note below]

Wonder, how a registered doctor/medical practitioner is being defined here. What credentials are recognized. What is the quality of care in rural areas and urban areas? I am raising these questions because the standard of care provided by credentialed medical practitioners must be evaluated before such a declaration is made. It is more important to maintain standard of medical credentials to provide good quality medical care.



Dr. Shabina Hussain, MBBS, DPH, MPH

Seattle, WA, USA

HIFA profile: Shabina Hussain is an independent global health consultant and is based in the USA. Professional interests: Maternal & Child Health, Family Planning, Reproductive & Sexual Health, women's rights, survival of girl child, poverty eradication, Prevention of Infectious diseases. hussain.shabina AT gmail.com

[*Notes from HIFA moderator (Neil PW):

1. The Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care appears to have a technical problem with URLs. To access the article (free access), go to http://www.jfmpc.com and go to Current Issue.

2. Here is the abstract of the article:

'The Indian medical education system has been able to pull through a major turnaround and has been successfully able to double the numbers of MBBS graduate (modern medicine training) positions during recent decades. With more than 479 medical schools, India has reached the capacity of an annual intake of 67,218 MBBS students at medical colleges regulated by the Medical Council of India. Additionally, India produces medical graduates in the “traditional Indian system of medicine,” regulated through Central Council for Indian Medicine. Considering the number of registered medical practitioners of both modern medicine (MBBS) and traditional medicine (AYUSH), India has already achieved the World Health Organization recommended doctor to population ratio of 1:1,000 the “Golden Finishing Line” in the year 2018 by most conservative estimates. It is indeed a matter of jubilation and celebration! Now, the time has come to critically analyze the whole premise of doctor–population ratio and its value. Public health experts and policy makers now need to move forward from the fixation and excuse of scarcity of doctors. There is an urgent need to focus on augmenting the fiscal capacity as well as development of infrastructure both in public and private health sectors toward addressing pressing healthcare needs of the growing population. It is also an opportunity to call for change in the public health discourse in India in the background of aspirations of attaining sustainable development goals by 2030.'

The full text says '1.33 billion of Indian population is being served by 1.8 million registered medical graduates. So, the ratio is 1.34 doctor for 1,000 Indian citizens as of 2017. This means that India has already reached WHO norm of 1:1,000 doctor population ratio even considering the most conservative estimates including stringent attrition criteria'. It's unclear whether this number specifically relates to MB,BS graduates or includes AYUSH graduates.]