Indian’s Scarcity Of Medical Staff : A Giant Opportunity For Career


The whole world is grappling with the coronavirus outbreak, including India. With almost everything at a standstill, one thing that is providing some relief is the efforts of the doctors, especially in India, where the recovery rate is high.

But, we all know that we are unprepared for a coronavirus surge. With just a fraction of beds, ventilators, doctors, and medical staff, India is at a greater risk of losing control over the situation.

Not only the facilities but the number of doctors in India is also minuscule, which is a worrisome condition.

Undeniably, doctors are the new army, and they are the one who always fights a fire blindfolded in every situation, let alone the novel coronavirus.

They are the ones who are highly paid and are demanded in every area, be it urban or rural.

But, the situation of India is taxing. Why? Let’s understand.

WHO Prescribed 1:1000 Doctor:Patient Ratio

WHO has prescribed that every country should try to meet the “Golden Finishing Line” or 1:1000 ratio to effectively address pressing healthcare needs.

If we look at the WHO recommendation and see the ratio of different countries, then we will find that most of the developed countries have surpassed the limits and are doing exceptionally well in the healthcare sector.

In Australia, you will find 3.374 doctors per 1000 people assuming 80% availability of the doctors.

Similarly, France has 3.227:1000 and Germany stands at 4.125:1000, keeping in mind 80% availability criteria.

Countries with doctor to population ratio:

Country Ratio
Australia 3.374:1000
Brazil 1.852:1000
China 1.49:1000
France 3.227:1000
Germany 4.125:1000
Russia 3.306:1000
USA 2.554:1000
Afghanistan 0.304:1000
Bangladesh 0.389:1000
Pakistan 0.806:1000

(Source: Economic Times Report)

Doctor to population ratio in India

Unfortunately, India has a doctor population ratio of 0.62:1000. In other words, there is one doctor for every 1,457 Indians.

The numbers may look very close to the target, but in reality, they are not. For a country with 1.35 billion people, the small deviation is making a huge difference.

According to a study quoted in economic times, India is facing a shortage of 600,000 doctors and 2 million nurses.

If we talk about the number of doctors, then there are 11.57 Lakh allopathic registered doctors with either state or national level medical council. Out of these, if we consider the same 80% availability, then only 9.26 Lakh doctors may actually be available at a given point in time.

Adding to this, the number of registered nurses and midwives stands at 1:675 against 3:1000 as suggested by World Health Organisation.

Not only this, if we combine doctors of Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy, assuming 80% availability, the doctor population ratio still stands at 1:868, which is not a very satisfactory number.

The Intimidating Factors at Play

Although there has been a major thrust on increasing the capacity of graduate training programs (MBBS) at medical institutions across India, the number of medical colleges and institutions providing education in healthcare is less than required. 

While the ratio of teacher to student has been revised from 1:1 to 1:2 for all MD/MS disciplines, this step in itself is not enough to cater to the need of the Indian healthcare sector.

You will be surprised to know that in 2019 Total 1,519,375 students enrolled for medical entrance exam NEET. However, the government seats for which they enrolled were only around 30000. Also, if we add 29,000 private institutions in the above figure, the difference in the number of people enrolled and seats available is vast.

In 2020, around 16 Lakh 84 thousand students enrolled for NEET. (HRD Minister of India in a press conference on 5 May, 2020).

Total Medical Seats In India 2020

In 2020, The Medical Council of India has increased the government medical seats to 42265 and private seats are increased to 37590.

So, there are total 79855 medical seats available in 542 medical colleges in India this year.
(Source: Medical Council of India India website. This data is subject to change in future)

An important contributor to the scarcity of doctors and nurses is the fees of education. On one hand where goverment colleges charge minimal fee for MBBS but on the other hand renowned private institutions charge hefty fees, which the middle-class Indian family could not pay.

Even the private colleges at the lowest level charge as much as 7-8 Lakhs per annum for MBBS. MBBS from a renowned private institution can cost even 1 crore for complete course. 


India’s Aspirants Choices

Due to very high fee in private medical colleges, students are openly looking for MBBS Abroad.

The cost of doing MBBS from abroad is lower than India. They have better infrastructure and more experienced lecturers, which is why the healthcare sector of many countries is much better than India. The degree received from abroad medical universities is valuable and valid in different countries, let alone our nation.

Seeing all the situations, most of the Indian aspirants choose to pursue MBBS from abroad.

In fact, according to a survey conducted recently and stats published by India Today,  91% of those who wished to study abroad before coronavirus still wish to study abroad after the situation is under control.

This is a good sign, which shows that the condition of Indian Healthcare can improve. Given the need and the gap in demand and supply, one can infer that India is surely going to invest in improving healthcare and will surely need doctors.



At the current time, as India has limited seats for MBBS, the most feasible solution is to pursue MBBS from abroad, of course, after the situation around coronavirus is resolved. Be it the cost or the infrastructure or the education system; everything is much better.

Since you are at home, it is the best time to research and choose the best when the time comes.

At Eduream, we have a team of expert MBBS Abroad counselors and have rich experience of the industry. We are direct partners with the top government medical universities in Europe and other continents.

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