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North India has more doctors than South

Mumbai, Jul 30, 2013 (PTI): 19:41 IST
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo. Reuters
North Indian cities account for 31 per cent of doctors in the country, but only 28 per cent of the country's population resides there, highlighting the extent to which these cities are over-served by the healthcare system, a report said.

On the contrary, East and South India have a significantly lower density of GPs (non-MBBS) compared to the Indian average, the IMS Health Physician and Chemist Census report said here.

A look at specific areas reveals some surprising realities regarding the distribution of doctors in India. Cities in Kerala have emerged with the lowest doctor density in India, while Haryana has the highest doctor density. Furthermore, the data gathered points to an alarmingly low doctor density in rural areas.

The IMS Health Physician and Chemist Census also reveals that 44 of the top 120 Indian cities are below the global median of 1.2 doctors per 1000 population, while 76 cities are above this benchmark.

The report said Mangalore has 3.4 doctors per 1000 people, while Gurgaon has 2.8 doctors per 100 people. Among the under served cities, Coimbatore has only 0.86 doctors per 1000 people, while Ranchi has 0.87 doctors per 1000 people.

Similar insights are found across the chemist population: Around 42 percent of chemists in India are concentrated in the top 9 most populated cities and 29 percent of chemist sales are performed without any prescription. Significantly, the census finds that 37 percent of chemist outlets are attached to doctor clinics, polyclinics, hospital facilities, and nursing homes, it said.

The IMS Health, the leading global provider of information, technology, and services for healthcare, unveiled the IMS Health Physician and Chemist Census, India's largest-ever collection of market intelligence on this stakeholder group.

The IMS Health Physician and Chemist Census covers 120 cities (metro and non-metro) and includes rich insights into over 3.73 lakh doctors and 99,000 chemists across multiple parameters.

The scope of information will help maximise the commercial and strategic potential for pharmaceutical, consumer health, medical devices and diagnostic companies. It will also provide critical insights for government policy-makers to develop better policies and a stronger healthcare infrastructure in India.

"This census helps close important information gaps in the healthcare value chain in India. Our Commercial Effectiveness Services team will use these new insights to enable stakeholders across healthcare to make better-informed decisions and to sharply increase the ROI from their commercial strategies.

"In addition, government and public bodies will now be armed with the market intelligence they need to design more relevant, more targeted programs that drive superior health outcomes," IMS Health - South Asia, Managing Director Amit Backliwal said here.

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