Currently pegged at Rs 13,600 Cr, the medical education sector is set to witness growth at CAGR 20 per cent and is likely to reach a level of Rs 54,000 Cr by 2020. More than 50 per cent of the sector comprises of under-graduate and post-graduate medical education, followed by nursing, dental and paramedical training and education.
One of the biggest impediments to strengthening the public health delivery system and scaling up access to healthcare in India is the acute shortage of human resources at various levels — specialists, doctors, nurses and paramedics.
This problem can be effectively addressed only by a consistent focus on improving the quality and availability of medical education in the country. Major challenges faced by the sector are inadequate infrastructure, insufficient seats — both at under-graduate and post-graduate level, limited number of skilled faculty and absenteeism, low quality curriculum content, inadequate exposure to technology, lack of monitoring etc.
At present, India has approximately 315 medical, 289 dental, 495 ayush, 5858 nursing, and 1147 paramedical colleges. However, they are not only low in number but also skewed in geographical distribution.
Even if India opens 600 600 new medical colleges and 800 new nursing colleges today itself, it will take 15-20 years to reach ‘global average’ of 1.5 physicians and 3 nurses per 10,000 population.