Public Health

ICHA Mitra ….. An initiative to help our Corona Warriors

Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation (ICHA) has launched the ICHA MITRA a portal to support all front line health workers during the Covid 19 epidemic.

The august fraternity of ICHA is collectively capable of addressing issues faced by Corona warriors through appropriate interventions is the main thought process behind the project.

“ICHA MITRA – From Fear to Care”   Implementation Steps

a.   An access platform has beencreated where presently, for one week only volunteer enrolment is being undertaken.

b. Constituent Associations are requested to disseminate the information and link to their respective members to enrol as volunteers.

The aim is to generate a city wise and region wise database of volunteers / Nodal coordinators who would be able to render help to any Corona Warrior seeking help and support.

c.     All members of your Association requested to share and disseminate ICHA Mitra information on their social media through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin among others.

d.     The request for support/help received from Corona Warriors will be redirected to the respective city /area Nodal coordinator. (S)he  in turn, through a local WhatsApp group or other such means redirect to the Registered Volunteers or assign the issue to a particular volunteer on phone.

e.  The volunteer after determining the veracity of issue received will start resolving the issue on phone or escalation to appropriate levels – Regional/ State / National level. This will be done in a time bound manner with information to ICHA Team.

f.     An online briefing / training will be done to equip the volunteers and clear all doubts.

g.    The entire records and summary will be visible on a dashboard on the platform and the progress of each submission will be continuously monitored by the ICHA Team.

h.    This will be a yeoman service to our Covid warriors and build a credible connect amongst them – from fear to care and a feeling that they have support to bank upon – ICHA being “Main Hoon Na”.

Considering the situation this is a step in the right direction and hopefully, ICHA MITRA would support many health workers during this epidemic.

Public Health

The last thing India needs is more Doctors……


Most of you after reading the headline would be wondering if this is some kind of joke. After all media has been circulating the fact that India is currently 600,000 doctors short. Not only doctors, India is short of nurses as well. The figure for that shortfall is in the thousands as well.

Training doctors or nurses is not an easy task, and nor should it be done in a hurry.

According to the data available from the Medical Council of India, we have about 8,56,065 registered doctors in the country today. That makes an approximate doctor: population ratio of 1:2000.  According to the ministry of Health, the government has taken many steps including

  1. Increasing the intake of MBBS students from 150-250 per college.
  2. Fast track the grating of permission to new colleges, some 50 odd medical colleges have been granted permission in 2009-2011.
  3. The norms for setting up colleges itself has been relaxed.
  4. The age for faculty has been increased from 60-70, especially in Post Graduate medical courses

I believe these steps are good in the short term but they would definitely reduce the quality of doctors we produce in the long term.  on the contrary It is my opinion that the last thing India needs is more doctors. There are two primary reasons for it.

  • Indian doctors love to serve the cities- today almost 75% of the doctors reside and work in the cities where 30% of the population is present. The remaining 25% cater to our vast rural population. So there is no point in producing doctors if they are going to move to the cities and increase the competition among themselves. Also many doctors start focusing on non critical areas like cosmetic surgery in order to increase the ROI on their educational investment. Plus many doctors move abroad. Almost 30 % of my batch in Manipal, 1994 is today either in the US or Europe.
  • Even if the doctors agree to move to the villages, the lack of infrastructure would hamper any good they can do for society. doctors trained in the Allopathic system today are more than ever dependent on diagnostic equipment which would be never available in villages.

So what is the solution? How can we effectively combat diseases?

The answer is a combination of technology and training.

Firstly we need to start developing a system of training health workers who are local to the region. If we can train them in handling simple conditions like child birth, administering  vaccinations, managing  Typhoid, Malaria and Pneumonia. As these are health workers they need to be shown their carer path as growing to be district health officers. As local health workers they would also have the credibility and trust of the population.

Secondly using mobile technology, health workers can be trained to focus on preventive care. A good example is the E mamta project in Gujrat, which has brought down mortality for both the Mother and child during child birth. The health workers used SMS technology on cell phones to update the central registers and then in turn receiving alerts from the system on vaccination dates and the checks on the mothers health.


I think the current scenario in India needs an out of the box solution and the last thing we need is another influx of inadequately trained doctors.