There is just one government allopathic doctor per 11,082 population and one government hospital bed per 1,844 population.
July 1st is marked as the National Doctors Day and is celebrated to put an emphasis on the role of the doctor in our society and their value in our life and life-threatening situations. This day is meant to pay them the much-deserved respect for the selfless service that they offer. However, the recent events suggest that how doctors feel unsafe and threatened and also is something that adds up to their overworking hours as the number of doctors we require across the nations is seemingly very less. From the age of Shushrut, Charak, and Dhanvantari, we have had our faith in doctors and treated them next to god and termed them as ‘ Living God on Earth’ but now we frequently term them as ‘Dr. Death’ and ‘Dacoit Doctor’ adding up to their insecurities.
Assaults and threats to doctors have become so prevalent that doctors are left with no options but to unite and fight against such threats. Recently, in West Bengal, a junior doctor was attacked and that lead to a nationwide protest serving as the seed of a national strike by all doctors with a notice of just two days. The issue was taken into consideration and was even supported by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which declared an all India protest.
Dr. Kapil Kochhar, Additional Director, Department of Bariatric, Minimal access & General Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Noida talking about the issue said that a data of health ministry released in June last year suggests that ratio of doctor and patient is very less and there is just one government allopathic doctor per 11,082 population. The same goes for the number of beds as there is only one government hospital bed per 1,844 population and one state-run hospital for every 55,591 population. A study by medical journal BMJ suggests that the average time that a primary care physician spends with patients in India is just 2 minutes which is quite a miserable condition we are facing. it is quite clear that India has a dearth of doctors.
The less number of doctors is not the only issue but also the condition that they work is quite challenging. The limited infra and high inflow of patients are the major ones adding to which are the no availability of holidays and lack of personal space. The problem will get bigger if the trust between the doctor and patient will fades away.
Speaking about the situation, Vivek Srivastava, CEO, HCAH, “Doctors are the pillars of the Indian healthcare industry and traditionally been regarded highly by society. Unfortunately, in India, owing to multiple factors like shortage of skilled medical manpower, limited infrastructure, demographical and geographical challenges, doctors operate in a challenging environment. This situation is worsened by the lack of trust between doctors and patients which has become evident from the recent attacks and assaults on doctors. Home-based healthcare services are one such model which has the potential to efficiently solve a number of current challenges faced by India’s healthcare sector. Home-based healthcare relieves the growing burden on doctors by shifting the load off hospitals to a patient’s home without compromising on the quality of care, allowing doctors to treat a greater number of patients. This is a win-win situation for both the patients and doctor community”
There is an immediate need to bring transparency among the society by highlighting the scarcity of doctors in India, showcasing the conditions in which Indian doctors work and most importantly by emphasizing on the need to express gratitude and empathy towards the doctors.