Bhubaneswar: A lone doctor caters to 1,943 people in Odisha as per the State’s present population-doctor ratio, the State government informed the Assembly on Monday.
Significantly, the ratio stands far below the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. As per the WHO norms, there should be one doctor for every 1,000 population. This is also far below the national average of 1 doctor for every 1161 people.
Replying to a question raised by the BJD MLA from Khandapada, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Health Minister Naba Kishore Das said as per the information available in the State’s health portal, there are currently 22,521 doctors in Odisha while the State’s population stands at 4,37,00,077. This brings the doctor and population ratio to 1:1943.
However, the pan India doctor-population ratio stands at 1:1161 which is very less in comparison to the regional level, added the Minister.
Similarly, the doctor-population ratio in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh stands at 1:520, West Bengal (1:1350), Jharkhand (1:6543), Chhattisgarh (1:3300) and Telangana (1:7556), respectively.
As per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines, there should be one doctor for every Primary Health Centre (PHC) and eight doctors for every Community Health Centre (CHC).
“Odisha required a total of 6,315 allopathic medical practitioners while the state has 8,719 sanctioned posts of doctors in different ranks. Of them, 7,024 posts have been filled so far,” informed Das during the ongoing budget session of the State Assembly.