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Assessing the Surgical Workforce Production Capacity in India

Status: Completed

Topic Tags: surgery, education, human resources for health

SDG Tags: Good health and well-being

Scope: India

Sponsors: None

ASAR Volunteers involved: Shirish Rao, Siddhesh Zadey, Bhavya Ratan Maroo


India has a total population of 1.3 billion and 81,150 surgical specialists to cater to this population. This workforce includes general surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists, anaesthetists, orthopaedics, ophthalmologists and otorhinolaryngologists.

A retrospective secondary data analysis was carried out on the data available on the postgraduate and super-speciality spots available across the 29 states and 7 union territories of India.

A total of 13793 PG and 1350 SS surgical spots are available in the country. This amounts to 105 PG and 10 SS spots per crore population. The PG spot density for surgical specialities is also significantly lower than that for non-surgical specialities. There is also a disparity in the distribution of spots, evidenced by the fact that 2/3rds of the spots are concentrated in 10 states and UTs.

Research Aims

The main aims were to

a) determine India’s capacity to produce doctors in surgical specialties and super-specialties

b) assess variation in this capacity amongst states and union territories

Advocacy Aims

  1. To utilise the data obtained to incentivise an increase in the number of postgraduate and super speciality seats across the country.

  2. To decrease the interstate disparity in the generation of surgical workforce by the equitable distribution of PG and SS seats proportionate to the population.

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