Monday January 20, 2020

India short of 500,000 Doctors, the Doctor-Patient ratio of 1:1,700 is worse than Vietnam

India is short of nearly 500,000 doctors, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) norm of 1:1,000 population, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of Government data.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, September 1, 2016: Needless to say that, Health-Management failure is prone in India. The depth of this fact can be measured only if we go through with these examples.

In Odisha, a man slung his wife’s body over his shoulder and carried it 10 km after being denied an ambulance on August 24, 2016.

In Kanpur, a man’s sick son died on his shoulder after being denied admission to a hospital on August 29, 2016.

Such cases become visible when they get social media and television attention, but millions cannot access India’s overburdened hospitals and inadequate medical facilities, a crisis illustrated by the fact that India is short of nearly 500,000 doctors, based on the World Health Organization(WHO) norm of 1:1,000 population, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data.

With more than 740,000 active doctors at the end of 2014 — a claimed doctor-patient population ratio of 1:1,674, worse than Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan — the doctor shortage was one of the health-management failures cited by the report of a parliamentary committee on health and family welfare, which presented its findings on March 8, 2016.

Illegal capitation fees in private medical colleges, a health-services inequality between urban and rural India and a disconnect between the public-health and medical-education systems were among the issues the committee investigated while probing the Medical Council of India, the 82-year-old organisation responsible for medical-education standards.

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Up to 55 percent of India’s 55,000 doctors graduate every year from private colleges, many of which charge illegal donations, or “capitation fees”; in Tamil Nadu, it now costs a medical student from such a college Rs 2 crore to get an MBBS degree, the Times Of India reported on August 26, 2016.

The imbalances begin with access to medical education.

States with nearly half the population have only a fifth of MBBS seats

“Six states, which represent 31 percent of India’s population, have 58 per cent MBBS seats; on the other hand, eight states, which comprise 46 percent of India’s population, have only 21 per cent MBBS seats,” said an unnamed expert who deposed before the parliamentary committee.

These medical-education imbalances reflect larger public-healthcare issues. In general, poverty is correlated with the lack of healthcare. For instance, among states with the highest proportion of undernourished children, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have the worst infrastructure for institutional deliveries.

India’s poorer states have health indicators that are worse than many nations poorer than them, and India’s healthcare spending is the lowest among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations, as are its health indicators.

Every year, 55,000 doctors complete their MBBS and 25,000 post-graduation nationwide, said another unnamed expert. At this rate of growth, he told the committee, India should have a doctor (allopathic) for every 1,250 people for a population of 1.3 billion by 2020, and one for every 1,075 by 2022 (population: 1.36 billion).

“However, the committee has been informed? that doctors cannot be produced overnight, and if we add 100 medical colleges every year for the next five years, only by the year 2029 will the country have an adequate number of doctors,” the second expert said.

The shortage of doctors, the report said, is despite the increase in medical colleges, from 23 in 1947 to 398 at the end of 2014. India, the report noted, has more medical colleges than any country, and 49,930 admissions were available in 2014.

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“An expert who appeared before the committee submitted that India was very very short of doctors and to meet this shortfall, India needs to have not four hundred, but one thousand medical colleges,” the report said.

The central government has approved 22 medical colleges with 1,765 seats in the last two years, according to an e-book published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The NITI Aayog, the government’s think-tank, has prepared the draft National Education Commission Bill, 2016, to reassess India’s healthcare and medical-education infrastructure.

While 11 new All IndiaInstitutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been added with 1,100 seats, the government has proposed an additional 4,700 MBBS seats.

As many as 5,540 MBBS seats and 1,004 PG seats have been added in the last two academic sessions, the e-book said.

Medical-education shortages manifest themselves in under-staffed public-health services nationwide: There is an 83 percent shortage of specialist medical professionals in community health centres (CHCs), as IndiaSpend reported in September 2015.

Public-health centres across India’s rural areas — 25,308 in 29 states and seven union territories — are short of more than 3,000 doctors, the scarcity rising 200 per cent (or tripling) over 10 years, IndiaSpend reported in February 2016.

The committee was, thus, sceptical of the government’s claims of the doctor-population ratio.

“Given the fact that the Indian Medical Register is not a live database and contains names of doctors who may have passed away or retired from active practice, by now, as well as those with a permanent address outside India and that there is no mechanism in place for filtering out such cases, the Committee is highly sceptical of the ministry’s claim of having one doctor per 1,674 population,” the parliamentary report said. “In view of the above, the Committee feels that the total universe of doctors in India is much smaller than the official figure, and we may have one doctor per 2,000 population, if not more.” (IANS)

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  • Kabir Chaudhary

    There are more than enough doctors graduating from medical schools in the country but they seem to run to other countries to earn cash, rather than saving and treating patients in their own country.

    • steve webster

      That is because in Canada they can often go back to school one year plus take up junior position under a doctor here in a rural area for 2 more years . After the first year they are often sending $3,000 to $4,000 per month back to their family in India to cover debt to cover education . After being in Canada 3 years they can make many times what they would in India, It very frustrating to be in country short of ambulances and supplies for the bottom third.

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  • Kabir Chaudhary

    There are more than enough doctors graduating from medical schools in the country but they seem to run to other countries to earn cash, rather than saving and treating patients in their own country.

    • steve webster

      That is because in Canada they can often go back to school one year plus take up junior position under a doctor here in a rural area for 2 more years . After the first year they are often sending $3,000 to $4,000 per month back to their family in India to cover debt to cover education . After being in Canada 3 years they can make many times what they would in India, It very frustrating to be in country short of ambulances and supplies for the bottom third.

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Tech Giant Apple Empowering Students in Burhanpur Pen Success on iPads

Apple Teacher is a free online professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate the great work of teachers around the world

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

BY NISHANT ARORA 

Frequented by historians and art lovers seeking solace in its rich past, another transformation, albeit quietly, is taking place in the city of Burhanpur and this time, Cupertino-based tech giant Apple is empowering talented kids at the Macro Vision Academy (MVA) to find their place in the fast-changing world.

One of the handful schools in India that has employed iPads and Mac desktops for imparting education, the CBSE-affiliated, day-cum-residential school has customised Apple products to improve students’ results and rankings – thus earning the tag of ‘Apple Distinguished School’ (ADS) for the second time in a row.

Worldwide, there are 470 ADSs in 34 countries and four are in India. Apple Distinguished Schools share their achievements by collaborating with Apple teams to host on-site Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) visits. The educators showcase best practices for using iPad, Mac, apps, multi-touch books and other digital materials to create powerful learning experiences.

At the Academy which is touted as the complete Gurukul, students are creating world-class apps while teachers are busy imparting lessons via Apple TVs in classrooms as students deploy iPads at the same time to imbibe real-time learning, including music on iPad.

The benefits of learning on iPads – nearly all students at the Academy are equipped with iPads and the Academy has over 150 top-of-the-line iMacs at its fully-equipped iMac Lab — are numerous: Learn and revise on the go, lesser books to carry, analytical performance reports to improve and track the growth, digitised voice notes at a secured Wi-Fi campus, and much more.

Today, the MVA students are working at Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Uber, IBM, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Infosys, Microsoft, Adobe, and several other top-notch firms. They have got admissions to prestigious universities like Penn State University, The State University of New York and all IITs.

Apple iPad in frame
Apple iPad. Wikimedia Commons

According to Anand Prakash Chouksey, Director, MVA, iPads and iMacs are part of students’ everyday life at Macrovision.

“The devices help teachers connect with students in a seamless way. The digital approach has increased kids’ interest in studies and their confidence levels have gone up too. They think in a more creative manner while looking at the same old curriculum. This has increased parents’ confidence too,” Chouksey told IANS during the campus visit.

Apple School Manager at the premises is a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to manage people, devices, and content all from one place. There is a redesigned user interface, more powerful ways to manage bulk activities, and greater control over accounts and classes.

“With the help of Apple School Manager, installing, maintaining and integration of 2,500 iPads was simple and did not incur any extra cost. It also gave us the flexibility to customize and implement policies as per our school needs,” informed Vijay Sukhwani who takes care of the entire Apple ecosystem at the campus.

Apple Classroom app turns iPads and Macs into powerful teaching assistants. The app also makes it easy to share information and send and receive files with the entire class and individual students using AirDrop, or show student work on the big screen.

All Apple products are built with an integrated approach to privacy and security and providing schools with devices, apps, and services that keep students’ work and personal information secure.

With Managed Apple IDs, the school controls student information and can choose to enable or disable apps and services such as iMessage, FaceTime or student progress reporting with the Schoolwork app.

Apple iPad
At the Academy which is touted as the complete Gurukul, students are creating world-class apps while teachers are busy imparting lessons via Apple TVs in classrooms as students deploy iPads at the same time to imbibe real-time learning, including music on iPad. IANS

Jay Firke from the school who attended Apple’s annual flagship Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, last year is super excited.

“I have created an e-portfolio app wherein class teachers can fill the students’ report about their skills and educational topics. The app currently works on school Wi-Fi,” Firke told IANS.

“I have also worked on an iOS school app which is made with Swift 4.1. This app includes all our school details,” he added, as his team members showcased some of the apps they have built in the classroom.

Apple has also developed apps that help teachers at the Academy put the power of technology to work, bringing ideas into their lessons and productivity to their classrooms.

Also Read: #WhatsAppDown Trends on Twitter As Messaging App WhatsApp Faces Outrage in India

The ‘Schoolwork’ app makes it easy for teachers to share class materials, assign activities within apps and view students progress. Students have one place to see assignments, submit work and view their own progress.

Apple Teacher is a free online professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate the great work of teachers around the world.

“We are aiming for an all-round development of not only students but also teachers as true digital learning can only happen then”, said a beaming Chouksey. (IANS)