As per WHO the ratio of doctor to population should be 1:1000. However, in India, this ratio is around 1:1675. Moreover, most of the doctors are confined to urban areas leading to highly skewed healthcare services available in the urban and rural divide unfavorable to rural masses. Rural people generally with less income are, therefore, compelled to seek healthcare services at far-off place in a city that increases the financial burden of healthcare. Therefore a two-pronged strategy is required to address this issue. First to increase the number of doctors to meet the ratio prescribed by WHO for 1:1000 ratio of doctor and population, and second to the proportionate distribution of doctors in rural and urban areas.
For increasing the number of doctors, more medical colleges need to be opened. It should be ensured that medical colleges should be opened in a remote rural location where the adequate medical facility is not available. This will ensure that apart from producing more doctors for healthcare, it will provide more healthcare services to rural areas at low cost. Moreover, the number of seats at PG level in existing medical colleges need to be increased so as to cater to the needs of teaching staffs of new medical colleges.
In addition to the above, at the initial stage after graduation doctors must serve at least for three years in rural areas, and those who are aspiring to get enrolled for PG must serve for five years in a rural area. For this, their registration for medical practice should be for a limited period of 3 to 5 years and area specific for practice, and registration should be renewable with a change of place of practice. Even the government can control to some extent the location of practice of a doctor while issuing registration certificates offering top 5 locations for registration where the ratio of doctor to population is very poor.
This arrangement will definitely take care of shortage and skewed distribution of healthcare services in India.