The doctor-patient ratio in India is less than the WHO-prescribed limit of 1:1000, government told the Rajya Sabha today.
While giving this information, Health Minister J P Nadda said 5,500 doctors pass out every year in India and there was an increase in the number of doctors posted in primary health care centres in rural areas from 22,608 in 2007 to 27,355 in 2014.
Replying to a question on doctors' reluctance to serve in rural areas, he said studies have identified various reasons for this including a feeling of professional isolation and a disparity in the living conditions.
"Estimates from studies indicate that there are about four times as many allopathic doctors per 10,000 population in urban areas as compared to the rural areas. This includes doctors in private and public sector," Nadda said.
On drugs, he said the government plans to conduct another country-wide survey to check the sale and use of spurious drugs.
During one such previous survey, conducted throughout the country lately, only 0.046 per cent drugs were found to be spurious, he said.
"We are thinking of another such survey," he said, adding "We are also improving the opportunity so that testing facilities are made more powerful."
The Minister said a number of steps have been taken to check sub-standard drugs in the country including amending the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 by the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment), Act, 2008 to provide for more stringent penalties for manufacture and trade of spurious and adultrated drugs.
The government is also providing assistance for upgrading of testing facilities and establishing new drug testing laboratories under the capacity building project through World Bank.