A critical shortage of healthcare professionals in India is hampering access to lifesaving antibiotics and contributing to a rise in antibiotic resistance, a report has warned.
The research, published by the Centre For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) shows there is just one doctor for every 10,189 people in the country, nowhere near the World Health Organization’s recommendation of one doctor per 1,000 inhabitants.
In order to satisfy its public health requirements, India needs to hire a further 600,000 doctors, the report says.
“Many of the doctors and nurses trained in India do not stay here,” said Dr Isabel Frost, a fellow at CDDEP and one of the authors of the report.
“This is for multiple reasons – in poorly-funded settings resources may not be available to provide high standards of care to patients, hospitals are overcrowded and staff are overworked.
“In West Bengal, there are outpatient clinics with just one doctor but up to 800 patients needing attention in one day,” she said.