Nurse to doctor ratio in India estimated to be 1.7:1 : Report

NEW DELHI, Sept 21:
The nurse to doctor ratio in India is estimated to be 1.7:1 on the basis of NSSO data, while the ratio of allied health workers to doctors is estimated to be 1:1, according to a report by the WHO and the Public Health Foundation of India.
Although there was no standard skill-mix ratio of different health workers, most OECD countries reported approximately 3-4 nurses per physician, the report stated.
The Indian High Level Expert Group (HLEG) recommendation for the nurse-doctor ratio in India stood at 3:1, it said.
Moreover, there was also a need to strike a balance (right skill-mix) between doctors and allied health workers, it added.
The nurse to doctor ratio is estimated to be 1.7:1 in India on the basis of NSSO data, with Punjab (6.4:1) and Delhi (4.5:1) on the higher side even as the states of Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh have less than one nurse per doctor, the report stated.
It recommended that India needs to invest in human resource for health (HRH) for increasing the number of active health workers and also to improve the skill-mix ratio which requires investment in professional colleges and technical education.
India needs to encourage qualified health professionals to join labour markets and ensure additional trainings and skill building for those who are already working but are inadequately qualified health workers, the report stated.
In addition to increased availability of and accessibility to quality health workers by the population in general, enhanced investment in HRH will lead to strengthening of the health system for dealing with pandemic situations like COVID-19 and any other epidemic, it added.
It will lead to economic growth, increased women participation in the labour market, formalisation of the labour market and overall economic wellbeing, the study said. (PTI)