Central Government was planning to bring more medical colleges in the country as to redress the shortage of adequate medical personals in the country disclosed Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda. The minister was speaking at the 6th convocation of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) at Karaikal. The minister also announced his ministry’s help to set up an offsite medical centre of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer). “Government was planning to upgrade district hospitals into medical colleges in a phased manner to address the acute shortage of doctors and para-medical personnel particularly in rural areas across the country. More than 400 out of 640 odd districts in the country had no medical colleges and the rural areas were worst affected”, said the minister in his speech. "We are taking up 58 district hospitals which would be upgraded into medical colleges in the first phase. Then we would take up another 50 districts hospitals which would be made as medical colleges in rural and district areas to cater to the rural areas," the minister added further. The minister said that the country has been facing an acute shortage of doctors and paramedical forces. It is a great challenge that needs to be addressed. “There are 7.4 lakh doctors in the country as against the requirement of 14 lakh doctors. The doctor-patient ratio in the country is 1:1,674, which is less than the world health organization (WHO) prescribed ratio of 1:1,000. Right now the country now has around 7.4 lakh doctors against its requirement of 14 lakh doctors," said Nadda while elaborating on the challenges the country has been facing.