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India faces an acute shortage of over 6.4 million workers in the health sector with Uttar Pradesh alone accounting for a shortfall of 1million professionals, according to a study undertaken by the Public Health Foundation of India for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported in The Hindu.
As the government sets about reforming the public health sector and making universal health coverage a reality in India, the availability of qualified “human resources for health” (HRH) has emerged as a significant challenge facing the healthcare delivery mechanism according to the study entitled From Paramedics to Allied Health Sciences: landscaping the journey and way forward.
According to the report, there is a gap of roughly 2 million dental assistance-related technologists, 1.8 million rehabilitation-related workers and 858,000 surgery and anaesthesia-related professionals. There is also a shortage of around 236 thousand medical technologists, 128 thousand and over 19 thousand radiography and imaging experts.
The HRH shortfall has resulted in the uneven distribution of all cadres of health workers, medical and nursing colleges, nursing and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife) schools, and allied health institutions across the States with wide disparity in the quality of education.
The survey studied over 1,000 institutions, which revealed a plethora of institutions across the country offered a wide variety of courses varying in quality and output on allied subjects. The lack of planned courses and institutions, non-uniform nomenclature for the existing courses, diverse standards of practice and lack of qualified faculty pose a threat to the quality of education and skills of the allied health professionals.
To read the executive summary of the report, click below: