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Shocking: Only 1 doctor for 13,154 patients in rural Odisha

Shocking: Only 1 doctor for 13,154 patients in rural Odisha

Bhubaneshwar: Vacancies of Doctors and specialists at Primary Healthcare centres(PHCs) and Community Healthcare Centres(CHCs) in rural Odisha seemed to have reached its peak in 2016. This resulted in the doctor patient ratio in rural areas also rising to a phenomenal 1: 13,154 against the state average  of 1:2,323. Meanwhile, the national average standing at 1: 1668.

The figure differences in the doctor : population ratios between the rural and urban is an indication to the high density of doctors in the urban areas, which includes doctors in private hospitals and clinics.

The State Medical Council statistics reveal that Odisha has 19,000 registered practitioners. However, doctors in the government run health centres including medical college hospital stand at a minimal figure of 3,500.

The Odisha state however does not suffer from a paucity of doctors  as the number of doctors produced by medical colleges along with the sustained strength of working doctors, excluding the retired lot comes to a conservative figure of 8,500. However, those employed by state run facilities number below 4000, which is indeed a challenge  for the government.

The World Health Organization (WHO) norm  calls for one doctor to attend to a population of 3,500. According to this barometer Odisha falls back and records a 65% to 85% shortfall of doctors in all its 30 districts. 9,200 doctors are required in the state run health centres as against the current available strength of a little above 2, 000 in rural areas.

It is clear that the perks offered to doctors by the government for serving in rural areas did not have the magical effect. Apparently 49 doctors deserted the PHCs last year resulting in  allopathic doctors’ vacancy at the PHCs rising to a 353 in number.

Specialist vacancies had fallen in 2013, however they still stand a low at 554 in 2016, with an up from 552 in 2015, reveals the State Health Directorate data.

The data also reveal the Government’s recent claim of increasing doctors at the CHCs by showing recruitment of more general duty medical officers than specialists at the CHCs because against the sanctioned strength of 422 general medical officers, the CHCs have over 270 more such officers.

Source: with inputs
7 comment(s) on Shocking: Only 1 doctor for 13,154 patients in rural Odisha

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  1. 40 years ago MBBS doctor was trained to do General surgery, Gynecology surgery, Caesarean surgery. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery was appropriate. After 1990, MBBS doctors cannot perform Surgeries without Postgraduate Surgery qualification. So present day MBBS doctor can\’t practice as the good old MBBS doctor.

  2. Sir,
    please conduct a survey of Just finishing HOUSE SURGEON doctors about their expectations if possible.
    Without satisfying their expectations, we may not be able to solve this problem of shortage of doctors in RURAL areas

  3. atleast one third of MBBS doctors are spending 50 lakhs to 2 crore for getting MBBS degree. And governments pay them 4 to 5 lakhs per annum which is just the interest for what they have spent for getting MBBS degree. When are they going to earn money for living?

  4. Current system of PHC, CHC, Area hospital was planned 40 years ago. Situations have changed dramatically since then. we need a policy overhaul according to expectations of modern MBBS doctor

  5. Because of the gross difference in pay of PHC medical officer and Specialists, Every MBBS doctor want to be a specialist. For PG Entrance exam, everyone has to revise what they have studied in 4 and half years which is impossible if joins a PHC medical officer job.