India has one doctor for every 1,668 people, while nearly eight lakh doctors across the country may be in active service at present, the government said on Friday.
"As per the information provided by Medical Council of India, there are a total 9,88,922 allopathic doctors registered with the state medical council or MCI as on June 30, 2016.
"Assuming 80 per cent availability, it is estimated that around 7.91 lakh doctors may be actually available for active service. It gives a doctor population ratio of 1:1668 as per current population estimate of 1.32 billion," Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
He was asked about the details of requirement and availability of doctors in the country, particularly in rural, remote and hilly areas.
He said the issue of compulsory rural posting of doctors has been left to the "wisdom" of state governments who are principal employers of doctors.
However, to encourage doctors working in remote and difficult areas, the MCI with the approval of government has amended the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2000 under which 50 per cent of seats in PG Diploma courses will be reserved for medical officers in government service who have served at least three years in remote and difficult areas among others.