The NEET Exam: The Competition And Shortage Of Doctors 

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With a booming population, and an increase in the number of ailments and diseases, where are the Doctors to cater to these people in need when the acceptance rate of the medical entrance examination is extremely low? According to The Medical Council Of India, it is a matter of worry and concern that the country has only 1 doctor for 1445 of its people. Will the increase in the number of seats be a way forward to tackle this alarming situation or are there other implications to it? 

Rural areas of the country, which constitute the maximum of the population, are offered primary healthcare through assistance and help from Community Health Care Centres. Reports from The Hindu, clearly mention how specialized doctors are scarce in the CHCS. It is not unbelievable yet shocking that only 1000 out of 5000 CHCs have specialized doctors needed for essential health care assistance

The rural areas have to be taken into a bigger consideration as compared to the metropolitan areas as there is absolute obviousness in the Rural-Urban disparity in correlation to medical assistance. Undoubtedly, the bigger Cities such as Mumbai and Bengaluru have newer and specialized methods of medical treatment whereas the remote and vulnerable areas do not have the same. The huge ageing population in rural areas falls under the most vulnerable category as they lack specialized support for their diseases. The disciplines of oncology and cardiology have very few specialized practitioners in India. 

Already, the situation is a matter of great concern and worry and we see how a huge number of medical aspirants choose to study abroad due to the stiff and unnecessary competition today. The disproportionality in the demand and supply of medical aspirants and the availability of seats is one of the key reasons behind the lack of doctors in India, as most of them are captivated by the lucrative options abroad leading to a brain drain. Even though the number of aspirants increased in the past, the seats in government institutions have remained stagnant.

A matter of business and entrepreneurial gains has cropped up from this alarming situation with the rise of private medical colleges in the country with fees touching the sky limit and a lack of quality education. This, in turn, questions the credibility and affordability of these institutions which want to capitalize on the dearth of doctors for personal gains. 

Although the increase in the number of seats in medical education might seem to be a viable option, the sad reality behind the idea is concerning. To increase the number of seats in the entrance exam, resources and infrastructure would have to top the priority list which is an uphill task as far as this economy is concerned. The status of medical education can not be compromised under any circumstances. There is a need for highly educated and proficient faculty for competent doctors in the future. With an existing shortage of doctors providing health care, the search for doctors with the ability to teach bright minds is not the easiest task to accomplish. The educational standards must be kept intact no matter what the situation demands. Right investments in the right areas are the first step towards a possible accomplishment.

It is indeed ironic, how investments are being made but not in the absolute right places. The government is focusing on building hospitals to solve the crisis at hand while neglecting the need for better educational infrastructure for aspiring doctors in the country.  If the plan is to create private hospitals without doctors and suck exorbitant amounts of money from patients, then the healthcare situation of the country is definitely in a position of absolute neglect and worry.

Thus, we examined how an increase in seats is one of the solutions to the problem, it comes up with a lot of other implications. The health of the patients should be of utmost priority so a much more panoramic solution could be proposed to solve the crisis of doctors. The existing doctors require encouragement, motivation and better incentives to serve a purpose in the vulnerable areas of the country. The work of mid-healthcare providers should be utilized in a further efficient manner to help primary healthcare workers better function in rural areas. A regulation on the fee structure and stricter supervision by the top institutions is also a very essential step. Lastly, a lesser-known idea that could be taken into consideration is the usage of technology to impart medical education across geographical barriers without compromising the standards of medical education through careful monitoring and evaluation techniques.


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