India Facing Critical Shortage Of Healthcare Providers: Who

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Why in News:

  • Despite the health sector employing five million workers in India it continues to have low density of health professionals.


  • It is lower than those of Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, United Kingdom and Brazil, according to a World Health Organisation
  • This workforce statistic has put the country into the “critical shortage of
  • healthcare providers” category. Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and
  • Rajasthan are the worst hit while Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Gujarat compare Southeast Asia needs a 50% increase in healthcare manpower to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. India faces the problem of acute shortages and inequitable distributions of skilled health workers as have many other low- and middle-income countries,’

New courses needed

  • The need of the hour is to design courses for different categories of non-physician care providers.
  • Competencies should be valued and reform must be brought in regulatory structures to provide flexibility for innovations,
  • Data on the prevalence of occupational vacancies in the health care system in India overall is
  • Government statistics for 2008, based on vacancies in sanctioned posts showed 18% of primary health centres were without a doctor, about 38% were without a laboratory technician and 16% were without a pharmacist,”
  • The health workforce in India comprises broadly eight categories, namely: doctors (allopathic, alternative medicine); nursing and midwifery professionals; public health professionals (medical, non-medical); pharmacists; dentists; paramedical workers (allied health professionals); grass-root workers (frontline workers); and support

World Health Organization

  • WHO is a specialised agency of UN
  • It is concerned with international public health
  • It acts as coordinating authority on international public health Established in 1948
  • It succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
  • India is a founder member of WHO.
  • It is a member of UN Development Group (UNDP).
  • WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing

National Health Mission

  • The National Health Mission (NHM) envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs. The National Health Mission seeks to ensure the achievement of the following indicators. Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to 1/1000 live births
  • Reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to 25/1000 live births Reduce Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 1
  • Prevention and reduction of anaemia in women aged 15–49 years
  • Prevent and reduce mortality & morbidity from communicable, non-communicable; injuries and emerging Reduce household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure. Reduce annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half
  • Reduce prevalence of Leprosy to <1/10000 population and incidence to zero in all districts Annual Malaria Incidence to be <1/1000
  • Less than 1 per cent microfilaria prevalence in all districts
  • Kala-azar Elimination by 2015, <1 case per 10000 population in all blocks
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