KERALA: In a state which prides itself on its orthopedic prowess, the number of doctors and orthopedists on duty at hospitals is quite low.
But it is increasing.
This is especially true in Kerala where hospitals have a shortage of doctors, as per the National Osteoporosis and Related Diseases (NORSD) Survey conducted by Niti Aayog.
The survey is aimed at tracking the situation of the health sector in the country.
It shows that in 2017-18, Kerala accounted for 24% of the total number of physicians and orthopaedic surgeons in the state.
Of the total population of Kerala, 34% were enrolled in orthopodists, 20% in surgeons and 17% in general practitioners.
These figures are significantly higher than the national average of 18% for orthopedical specialists and 11% for general practitioners in Kerala.
The figures indicate that Kerala is among the states with the highest percentage of doctors on duty.
The states which have the highest number of orthopedist doctors on duties are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
It has also been noted that the states in Kerala have the most doctors who have received their medical education in India.
Kerala has more than 60% doctors in their early stages of training.
The number of primary care doctors in the State is also higher than that of the rest of the country, according to the NORSD survey.
Kerala is also the first state in the nation to have more orthopedologists than general practitioners and general practitioners have a higher enrolment than orthopedicians.
Kerala also has more orthopeds in hospitals than the other states, according the survey.
It is estimated that Kerala has 8.9 lakh orthopedias, the highest in the world.
It accounts for 3.5 lakh orthoposies in all hospitals.
It also has 5,965 general practitioners, 6,865 general surgeons and 1,711 orthopedis.
Kerala ranks seventh in the number and the number in hospitals, according NORSd.
However, it is not the only state in this category.
Telangathan has 6,000 orthopedies, while Maharashtra has 6.9, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 7,000 and Assam 6,400.
There are also states with more orthoplastic surgeons than general surgeons in Kerala, such as Telangas, Andamans and Nicars.
Kerala government has been busy in revising the system for appointing orthopedial doctors, said Dr B J Nagaraj, chief orthopoeic surgeon at Malabar Orthopaedics and Trauma Centre, Kottayam.
“The government is planning to introduce an allopathic medical system in Kerala to enable doctors to be trained and trained in the allopathic and allied disciplines.
It will also ensure that the medical school graduates of orthopopes in Kerala will be trained in a holistic manner,” he said.
The Government has also put in place various measures for increasing the number on duty of orthodists in the hospitals, Nagaraja said.
A number of measures were taken by the government to attract more orthodicians, such in the establishment of a medical college in the city and setting up of an orthopedically registered surgery hospital in the district.
Kerala Health Minister B R Amdhaman said that the Government was taking all measures to attract and train orthopedia doctors in Kerala in the near future.
“There are a lot of things being done to make Kerala orthopediacs the first in the region.
A team of doctors has been set up at Malabalu, a hospital for orthopods in the northern district of Kerala,” he told The Hindu.
Kerala health minister B R A Amdhi said that Kerala’s orthopediosis students would be trained under the auspices of the National Institute of Orthopics and Musculoskeletal and Related Sciences (NIOSMS).
The National Orthopedics and Orthopotential Research Organisation (NORDOOR) is also working towards establishing orthopediatry colleges in Kerala with a focus on developing orthopedian training programmes.
“We are also planning to establish orthopediasties in the southern state of Andhra, and in the north state of Telanga, and also in Andhra in the next one year,” Amdhary said.
“These will be the first orthopediological colleges in the South East Asian region,” he added.