‘India needs to add 1 lac hospital beds for 30yrs’

India behind many countries in terms of number of hospital beds and doctors per thousand population.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2010, 23:56 PM IST

New Delhi: India is behind a number of countries in terms of number of hospital beds and doctors per thousand population despite having a higher total number of hospital beds as compared to other countries, a new study says.

The study compared India`s performance against a fairly representative global sample of countries. Seven countries were studied based on the parameters of Healthcare Infrastructure, Healthcare Manpower, Medical Equipment and Healthcare Education.
The purpose of the study was to acquaint India with models from across the globe, know how India fares against external benchmarks and examine if a few of these models can
be adapted to its milieu.

According to the joint study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Industry and Commerce with leading hospital planning and management consultancy firm, India has a higher number of nurses per thousand population while United Kingdom lags in this area.

India also has the highest number of medical as well as nursing colleges as compared to other countries. Though India has a shortage of nurses, it has a comparatively high percentage of nursing colleges.

This implied that either there is huge drain of nurses abroad or the nursing colleges have fewer numbers of seats as compared to the global average or both. India`s proportion of hospital beds to population is less than one third of the WHO norm.

To achieve the norm, India needs to add one lakh beds for the next thirty years-- about two third of these beds should come up in rural areas. If investments are not directed to make healthcare available, affordable and accessible to all, the increased consumption of healthcare would enhance the inequalities in India and eventually slow down growth, it said.

PTI