‘India short of 6 lakh doctors, 2 million nurses: U.S. study

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  1. A report by the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), USA, has highlighted various factors contributing to antibiotic-treatable deaths. The study was based on stakeholder interviews in Uganda, India, and Germany, and literature reviews to identify key access barriers to antibiotics in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
  2. The study has highlighted that the mortality burden from treatable bacterial infections in low and middle income countries remains higher than deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections.
  3. The findings of the study show that there are factors in low& middle income countries that delay or prevent market entry of newly discovered antibiotics. These include a) regulatory hurdles and b) substandard health facilities. For example, out of 21 new antibiotics entering markets between 1999 and 2014, less than 5 were registered in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. In case of India, the study has noted that the country has a shortage of an estimated 6 lakh doctors and 2 million nurses. The lack of health practioners and staff who are properly trained in administering antibiotics is preventing patients from accessing these medicines in India.
  5. The study has further added that even when antibiotics are available, patients are often unable to afford them. The report notes that government spending in health sector in India remains low and 65% of health expenditure is out-of-pocket which drives millions to poverty each year.