Guest column: ‘Skill and competency gap needs to be bridged’

Dr Usha Manjunath, Director-in-charge, Dean Academics, Institute of Health Management Research, Bangalore (IIHMR, Bangalore)

A majority of people, be it in rural or urban areas, are using private healthcare facilities today. With as much as 70 per cent of the urban and 63 per cent of the rural population opting for private healthcare, their out of pocket expenditure is huge. The government needs to analyse and ask itself why  the public relies more on private services and not its hospitals despite the bigger drain on its pockets.

The truth is we have many medical colleges, but when it comes postgraduation and specialisation, there are not many seats, which results in a low turnout of trained specialists. Also, sadly, while the number of nursing colleges is huge, nearly 90 per cent of their students come from other states and hence retention is  a big problem.

In the medical profession, knowledge, skill and practise play a major role, but  with the drastic changes in the healthcare sector today, there is  a need for increased training to improve the competency and skill of those taking to it. Consider the fact that some of the government hospitals have high-end equipment but lack the highly skilled personnel required to make use of them. In a nutshell, there is a skill and competency gap that needs to be worked on soon.

The training also needs to be revamped according to the ground realties in healthcare. What people tend to forget is that it is not just the medical professionals,  who need to ramp up, but also  the paramedics and the government. Hence the whole gamut needs an upgrade or a revamp.

This unique online bidding initiative could be great in the short term for filling up of some posts,  but long term issues need to be addresse carefully.

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