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Health Ministry plans to double PG seats in next 5 years

New Delhi : To address the acute shortage of specialist doctors in the country, especially in small towns and rural the Union health ministry is working on an ambitious plan to double the number of post-graduation (PG) seats in medicine over the next five years. Under the plan, the government is looking to raise the number of Diplomate of National Board (DNB) seats, which are considered equivalent to post-graduate degrees in medicine (MS and MD), identify facilities where new seats can be created and relax norms for MS/MD seats.

For the 2022-23 academic session 91,927 MBBS seats were on offer in India’s medical colleges but the MS/MD (Master of Surgery/ Doctor of Medicine) seats were 46,118, which is approximately half that number of MBBS seats. Taking into account the 12,246 DNB seats offered by tertiary care hospitals the total number of PG or equivalent seats rises to 58,364.

The rural health statistics are dismal as there were just 4,405 specialists at rural community health centres, a whopping 80 per cent less than the requirement of 21,924. The situation in the private sector remains the same. Health experts feel that reduce this disparity the health ministry intiative will be crucial and can become a game changer in healthcare sector.