Earlier this month, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi made made India Today One medical college in each district to produce record number of doctors in 10 years: PM Modi Read more  a rather steep promise. He said that India will produce a record number of doctors in the next 10 years, with his government aiming to set up at least one medical college in every district. 

It’s a promise that either Modi or a minister in his government has made made The Hindu Govt. plan is to set up one medical college for every three districts: Pralhad Joshi Read more at least at least HT Govt aims to set up at least one medical college in every district: PM Modi Read more five five News18 There Should Be One PG Medical College in Every District: PM Read more times times One medical college in every district in five years, says BJP manifesto TNIE Read more  in the last three years. While the number of undergraduate seats in medical colleges have increased 75% since 2014, from 51,348 to 89,875 currently, it’s hardly enough. The Indian healthcare industry is running on fumes. 

On the one hand, it’s undergoing a sea change thanks to the pandemic. Big players like Reliance Industries, the Tata Group, and Apollo Hospitals have made a beeline to house services like teleconsultation, digital prescriptions, e-pharmacies, and at-home diagnostics under one roof. At least 19 teleconsultation companies have cropped up in India since 2016. India also ranks fourth fourth Mint India ranks fourth globally for VC investments in healthtech space since 2016: report Read more  globally for healthtech investments in this period, with venture capitalists putting in $4.4 billion in the last five years.

However, for all this ambition and growth, getting good doctors to populate these healthtech platforms is an enormous challenge. Practo, the biggest player, has 120,000 registered doctors, but quality is a concern, said a former senior executive with the company. They, along with other executives from the industry  The Ken spoke to for this story, requested anonymity because either they weren’t authorised to speak to the media or feared repercussions.

AUTHOR

Maitri Porecha

Maitri writes about everything health for The Ken. For close to 10 years now, she has navigated hospital corridors in her search for a good story. In a past life, when she was not a journalist, she used to teach French at her neighbourhood school. Also an avid fan of forensics, she is always up for decoding mysteries in her free time.

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