India’s 13 lakh doctors (10 lakh practising) translate to a ratio of 1 active MBBS doctor for every 1,343 people. According to the World Health Organization, India faces a shortage of 15.4 lakh doctors, particularly specialists, with just 0.3 specialists per 1,000 population.
An immediate solution to address this, would be to use existing hospitals to produce specialists through DNB (Diplomate of the National Board). Over 1,000 large facilities in the country are accredited to the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBEMS) and contribute around 12,000 DNB/DrNB/FNB specialist seats. But there is tremendous potential to leverage the network of mid-sized hospitals to upgrade the academic framework and bridge the gap for specialists.