In a city like Bangalore, male doctors are increasingly filling the gap left by women.
The numbers show that out of a population of 6.3 crore, only 1.6 crore doctors are women.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
The number of male doctors has been growing for a long time, but they’re now more likely to be working in male wards and hospitals.
As a result, the gender imbalance has become even more acute in India.
The state of Delhi has the highest number of doctors in its male population with an estimated 5.2 crore, followed by Maharashtra with 3.3 lakh doctors and Tamil Nadu with 2.9 lakh.
The second-highest number of female doctors in the country, with 1.9 crore, is Bengaluru with 1 crore doctors.
The report points out that the gender gap in male medicine is most pronounced in the rural areas of the country.
The rural hospitals are not equipped to handle the male population.
Male doctors in Bengaluru, India, in March.
Photo: Amitabh ChaudhuriA female doctor in Bengalururu, where only 1 lakh doctors are registered, says, “I work from home, my husband works from home and the hospital is run by the male doctors.”
The women also do not have the same financial resources as the men.
They also face different medical issues and are more likely not to get a full-time job.
“In rural areas, there is no money to buy medicine or the medicine that is available is not as good as what a woman can buy,” the female doctor said.
“We are struggling to find a job.
Many of us work from 10 to 14 hours a day.
We have no savings.”
Another female doctor from Bengaluru said, “The health insurance is not sufficient for the hospital.
The government has provided Rs 500 to us for every rupee we have to pay for medicine.
But we cannot afford it.”
While women doctors tend to get the medical treatment they need, there are still gaps.
A medical college student from Tamil Nadu, who requested to be identified only by her first name, said, there was a shortage of male nurses in the hospital, especially in wards with a high male patient population.
“We are unable to afford the medicines and doctors we need,” she said.
The health ministry does not disclose the number of registered female doctors and the number that are women but said there are a few million doctors in India with a male patient profile.
In a country where nearly half of the population is male, there must be at least 10 million female doctors.
According to the government, India’s population of doctors is estimated at 6.2 million.
Dr Seshadri Kumar, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), said the gap is a “national problem”.
“The male doctors work on wards that are not designed to be operated on in the same way as women doctors,” he said.
The shortage of female nurses and lack of facilities and facilities to treat male patients have been a huge challenge for India’s healthcare system.
“The main problem in Indian health is not the gender problem.
It is that female doctors have been left behind,” Dr Kumar said.
India’s female doctors are facing difficulties too.
In Tamil Nadu alone, there were 8,814 female doctors registered in 2011-12, compared to 2,982 in 2008-09.
The female doctors also face the challenges of having to take care of their own children, said Dr Seshada Rao, the director of women’s health at Tata Memorial Hospital in Bengal, who works with female doctors on a voluntary basis.
Dr Rao said that although there is a shortage in male doctors, there also is a need for more male doctors in other fields.
“It is a problem for women, but also for the government and the healthcare sector,” she told Quartz.
Dr Kumar said that the shortage of doctors has also impacted on the quality of care provided to patients.
“The shortage of medical personnel, the shortage in the medicines we need, and the shortage on maternity leave, all have a huge impact on quality of life,” he added.