North India has maximum doctors in India: IMS Health

Updated: Jul 31, 2013, 15:23 PM IST

New Delhi: North India has the highest number of doctors in the country while the eastern region has the least, highlighting disparity in access to healthcare, according to a survey by market research firm IMS Health.

According to IMS Health Physician and Chemist Census, while North India accounts for 31 per cent of doctors in the country, South and West India have a similar 28 percent and East has only 13 per cent.

The census covered 120 cities (metro and non-metro) and includes insights into over 3.73 lakh doctors and 99,000 chemists across multiple parameters, IMS Health said.

"This census helps close important information gaps in the healthcare value chain in India," IMS Health South Asia Managing Director Amit Backliwal said in a statement.

The census aims to provide critical insights for government policymakers to develop better policies and a stronger healthcare infrastructure in India, he added.
Underlining how skewed the distribution of healthcare professionals across the country`s population is, the report said: "Cities of North India account for 31 per cent of doctors in the country, but only 28 per cent of the country`s population resides there."

There is a high disparity even in the distribution of chemists across the country.

"Around 42 percent of chemists in India are concentrated in the top nine most populated cities and 29 per cent of chemist sales are performed without any prescription," the report said.
Significantly, according to the census 37 per cent of chemist outlets are attached to doctor clinics, polyclinics, hospital facilities, and nursing homes.

"Ultimately, this census will help identify over-and- under-served regions and enable the healthcare system in India to run much more intelligently," MS Health India Strategic Planning Senior Director Kumar Hinduja said.

IMS Health is a worldwide provider of information, technology, and services dedicated to making healthcare perform better.