National HR panel to bridge health professional shortage

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 1 2010, 04:00am hrs
The government proposes to set up a national commission for human resources in health to plan for the adequate availability of human resource for health over the next 20 years.

We are also considering the establishment of a national commission for human resources in health (NCHRH) to be set up as an umbrella organisation addressing all aspects of human resource development in the health sector, Union minister of health and family welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday while addressing the meeting of the central council of health & family welfare .

The draft Bill on NCHRH will include the modalities of training and education of all health professionals, the accreditation of institutions of medical, dental and nursing education, and the licensing of the practice of these professions. The minister admitted to the acute shortage of medical and paramedical staff in the country specially in the rural area and proposed to start a new medical course named 'Bachelor of Rural Health Care' to address the problem of shortage of health providers in rural villages. A variant of the proposed course has already been under implementation in Chhattisgarh, Assam and West Bengal.

In India, one doctor on an average serves 9,728 persons. The situation is grimmer in Bihar and UP where doctor to population ratio is 1:21,600 and 1:22,600, respectively.

To meet this gap, government has already introduced some other medical reforms last year. This includes easing norms relating to requirement of land and infrastructure to attract more entrepreneurs, particularly in under-served and difficult areas. To overcome the acute shortage of faculty in medical colleges and specialists and super specialists in hospitals, the teacher-student ratio has been relaxed from 1:1 to 1:2. As a result, 4,000 additional Post Graduate seats have been created this year alone in government medical colleges, the health and family welfare minister said.