NEEM Scheme & Indian Health Care Sector

Health is Wealth

This saying is actually truer when it comes to nation building and growth of the economy. Until unless you have a healthy population, nothing can move in terms of business. Ensuring that that population remains in top health condition is where the great Indian Health Care Sector comes in to play. Be it a developed nation or a developing economy like us, everyone is struggling with providing their population with adequate healthcare professionals. As per some serious economic projections, the global healthcare expenditure is all set to rise by 5.2%  to about 9.3 trillion USD.

” In such a scenario, both developed and developing countries are struggling to supply adequate numbers of trained, qualified health care professionals, especially Physicians, Medical Laboratory Professionals, Nurses, Paramedics as well technologists.”

Source: economic times.

India has a ratio of 1.5 nurses per 1000 people where the minimum acceptable number is 2 per thousand people. The situation is equally bad when we move on to the higher echelons of this sector. The situation seems to be more critical as the concentration of whatever healthcare professionals are available in the country are in urban centers and big cities. In comparison, rural India is still lagging behind in terms of proper healthcare facilities.

The total skill gap is approximately 97.9% across various health workforce categories, according to the recent study findings by Public Health Foundation of India for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Radiography and imaging alone account for 88.7% of this gap amounting to a huge shortage of medical laboratory technicians. The greatest need of radiology and imaging professionals is in Uttar Pradesh (adjusted estimate 3,600). Other states witnessing these huge skill gaps are Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam followed by Delhi.

As per the study, amongst states having the widest gaps in health manpower, Maharashtra comes second with 5.65 lakh fewer paramedics and Bihar third with 5.28 lakh shortfall. While West Bengal has 4.62 lakh less health workforce, there is a shortage of 4.22 lakh health professionals in Andhra Pradesh and 3.68 lakh less allied health professionals in Tamil Nadu. source: Economic times

It is really a sorry scene and something that everyone should be worried about. Healthcare deals with lives of people. Lack of resources in this sector amounts to playing with life. We are playing with matters of life and death here.

NEEM Scheme: A remedy to the issue

Having seen the issue the only logical way out is to train more people. All of us know that training paramedical staff is expensive. The fees are high and the entry competition is fierce. Having such a huge population at times becomes a problem. There are individuals who possess the minimum intelligence to be trained as paramedical staff however they cannot afford the fee for the courses. For people like these NEEM Scheme, a skills development initiative by the government of India seems to a ray of hope. This scheme allows for eligible individuals to be provided with the apprenticeship with leading institutions in the sector. Later on completion of their training, they have an option to continue or move on. The option is open for both the trainee and the trainer company. Benefit for the hiring company includes hassle-free human resource operation and getting the freedom to train their own manpower. Leaving other things aside the Indian Healthcare sector really needs to fill their skills gap as soon as possible.

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