Assam aims to produce 1,000 doctors every year by 2026
GUWAHATI: Assam has set the target of producing 1000 doctors per year by 2026.
Going by the population boom, the State requires more than 1,000 doctors every year. In an ideal situation, the State needs to set up one medical college every 10 years to meet the shortage of doctors. But in case of Assam, not a single new medical college was set up for nearly 40 years till 2009 when the Jorhat Medical College (JMC) was set up. After JMC, the then Congress regime set up medical colleges in Tezpur and Barpeta.
The situation has improved slightly after the first batch of students passed out from the three new medical colleges in Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur in the recent years. By 2020, Assam is expected to produce over 700 doctors annually which would, however, not be adequate to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) stipulation on the doctor-patient ratio. Assam now has three to five doctors against 10,000 persons which go against the WHO stipulation of a minimum ratio of 1:1,000.
'Shortage of doctors has been found to be the main reason for the poor healthcare services in the State. If shortage of doctors is one problem, their unwillingness to work in the rural hinterland is another. So the Assam government has decided to produce a huge pool of doctors by setting up medical colleges in most of the districts in the State. Once the number is adequate, doctors will be compelled to work in rural areas,' a source in the Health department said.
Sources added that while the new medical college at Diphu in Karbi Anglong has already started functioning, the government is giving priority to early completion of setting up medical colleges in Nagaon, Lakhimpur and Dhubri.
'In between 2025 and 2026, four more medical colleges are expected to produce doctors. In case such a situation prevails, the State will be in a position to produce over 1,000 doctors every year by 2026 and thus overcome the situation of doctors' crunch,' the source pointed out.