57.3% ARE QUACKS
What’s in news?
The Union Health Ministry’s data states that, 57.3% of allopathic medicine practitioners do not have a medical qualification.
- A 2016, WHO report on the health workforce in India had shocked everybody by stating that 57.3% of those allopathic medicine did not have any medical qualification.
- In India, the report was recently released by the Union Health Ministry.
- This data od quacks puts rural patients at risk, who suffer because of an urban to rural doctor density ratio of 3.8:1, and India’s poor doctor-population ratio of 1:1456 as compared with the World Health Organisation standards of 1:1000.
Distribution of doctors:
- There is a huge skew in the distribution of doctors working in the urban and rural areas.
- With the above-mentioned quacks and problem in distribution of doctors, a good quality care was being denied for most of our rural and poor population.
- Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 prohibits a person other than a medical practitioner enrolled on a State Medical Register to practice medicine in the State.
- Any person acting in contravention is punishable with imprisonment and fine, and since health is a State subject, the primary responsibility to deal with such cases lies with the respective State governments.
- But in recent NMC bill brought a provisions that, Section 32 of the bill authorises the government to allow non-medical degree holders to practice medicine as community health providers.
- This provision has been vehemently opposed by Indian Medical Association that says it will legalise quacks in the country.
Allopathic practitioner’s ratio:
- According to government records, as of December 31, 2018, a total of 11,46,044 allopathic doctors were registered with the State Medical Councils/ Medical Council of India.
- Among the total number, there are also 7.63 lakh Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors in the country.
- Assuming 80% availability, it is estimated that around 6.1 lakh AUH doctors may be actually available for service, and considered together with allopathic doctors, we have a doctor-population ratio of 1:884, which is still low.
Need for Mid-level practitioners:
- Since we have a shortage of doctors and specialists and a wide gap in primary healthcare services for many rural areas, that need to be filled through competent mid-level healthcare providers who are adequately trained, technologically enabled and legally empowered.
- This provision is one of the main concepts of the recently released NMC Act.
- In Countries like Thailand, United Kingdom, China and even New York have permitted community health workers/ nurse practitioners into mainstream health services, with improved health outcomes.
- In India, Chhattisgarh and Assam have experimented with community health workers.
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