Urgent need to address the problem of manpower shortage in medical profession – Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: The Vice President,  M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasised the need to urgently address the problem of manpower shortage in the medical profession. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for expansion of our health infrastructure at primary, secondary and tertiary level.

Interacting with medical students and faculty after inaugurating new units and state-of-the art equipment at Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, the Vice President expressed his happiness that India is on the path to achieve the WHO-recommended ratio of one doctor per 1,000 people by 2024. He also appreciated the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission which seeks to strengthen the critical healthcare network from village to the national level in the next four to five years.

Ruing that the medical profession has become increasingly commercialized over the years, he advised the budding medical graduates to lend a human touch while treating their patients. “Medical profession is one of the noblest professions and all of you should always remain committed to the Hippocrates Oath. Never deviate from the righteous path and maintain the highest ethical and moral standards,” he said.

Stressing the need to fully leverage India’s strength in the IT sector, Shri Naidu called for promoting public-private partnership (PPP) in different areas, including establishing telemedicine connectivity to remote rural areas. Telemedicine will help in reducing costs and improving access in rural India, he opined and expressed confidence that the recently launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would help in creating the necessary ecosystem for delivering an efficient and inclusive universal health coverage.

In view of the shortage of manpower in the rural areas, the Vice President suggested making rural service mandatory before giving the first promotion to government doctors. He also recognized the need to attract more doctors to the rural areas by providing incentives and improving housing and other infrastructure.

Expressing concern over the high levels of out-of-pocket expenditure on health, Shri Naidu emphasised the need to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all. In this regard, he underlined the need to increase public spending on the health sector. “At the same time, I would urge the private players in the health sector to join hands with the government in providing affordable state-of-the-art treatment modalities to the people,” he added.