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Doctor Shortages in India UPSC NOTE


  • Despite India having nearly 1 lakh MBBS seats, there is a significant shortage of doctors in rural areas.

  • Introducing a three-year diploma course for medical practitioners, as proposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, may not be an effective solution. 

  • The diploma course may not adequately train trainees to deal with the conditions in rural areas, which often lack facilities, infrastructure, and transport.


  • Instead of a three-year diploma, training paramedical staff like physician assistants to better handle emergencies and then transporting patients or bringing in doctors as needed could be a more viable option.

  • There is a general aversion among professional doctors to practice in rural areas, highlighting the need to address the challenges of recruitment, retention, and turnover.

  • Rather than focusing on primary health centers (PHCs), which require fully trained doctors, mid-level healthcare providers functioning in sub-centers could be considered to provide first-level care in rural areas.

  • It becomes discriminatory to provide less qualified practitioners for rural populations and more qualified practitioners for urban settings. 

  • Health awareness among the rural population is lower, and access to medicines and resources may be limited, making it crucial to ensure adequate healthcare professionals.

  • Compulsory rural postings have not been successful in attracting and retaining doctors in rural areas. 

  • Hard incentives and alternative approaches are necessary to motivate medical graduates to serve in rural areas continuously.


  • The disparity in the spread of medical colleges across different regions needs to be addressed. 

  • Redistributing medical colleges or increasing their numbers in areas with low density could help mitigate rural shortages.

  • Medical ethics and training should be emphasized to instill a sense of commitment to serving communities rather than prioritizing job prospects and financial gains.


  • Government investments and policies are crucial for addressing the distribution of medical colleges and improving rural retention

  • Private investments alone may not be sufficient to tackle the issue. 

  • Evidence-based solutions, such as recruiting doctors from rural areas and placing them there, can contribute to improving rural healthcare.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Doctor Shortages in India UPSC NOTE
Doctor Shortages in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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