How Brain Drain Of Professionals Is Affecting India’s Healthcare Sector?

India is one of the major sources of talented healthcare professionals worldwide. Healthcare workers often move to developed countries to pursue a better career with high earning potential and work-life balance.

As a significant source, India supplies healthcare professionals to various countries, such as the GCC countries, the US, UK, among others.

Tasked with skilling the workforce, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), in an announcement, said that it would provide 300,000 healthcare professionals, like doctors, nurses, and allied health personnel, to countries like the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Australia, and Singapore by 2022.

According to the data of the Union health ministry, India currently has an estimated 1.7 nurses per 1,000 population, which should be three nurses per 1,000 population, as per WHO. The doctor-patient ratio also stands at 1:1,404, well below the WHO norm of 1:1,100.

As per a study published in the Indian Journal of Public Health, India needs an estimated 2.07 million doctors by 2030.

On the other hand, according to the nursing and midwifery professional organizations, India would need around 4.3 million nurses by 2024 to meet the WHO norms.

India’s extreme shortage of professionals speaks volumes of the dire healthcare crisis the country is in right now.

Why Do Healthcare Professionals Migrate?

The demand for healthcare workers is growing and isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Medical professionals often migrate to developed countries for a better life, compensation, and work-life balance. 

As the healthcare industry continues to deal with the shortage of staff, professionals are overburdened and demotivated, which affects their physical and mental health. 

The healthcare sector is a high-pressure working environment due to which professionals choose to migrate, which eventually widens the gap further.

Let’s delve deeper and understand why healthcare professionals migrate to other countries.

Employment Opportunities

Primarily, healthcare professionals migrate due to workforce shortages in other countries. In addition, the active demand for healthcare professionals and the availability of employment in institutions abroad are major reasons behind migration.

Better Life

Skilled healthcare professionals are needed across the globe. However, in search of a better future, healthcare professionals choose to work in a developed country to improve their standard of living.

Higher wages 

A good compensation/salary is a well-known motivation factor in continuing a job. Since healthcare institutions in developing countries pay a lucrative salary to source candidates from other countries, it often becomes a deciding factor for professionals.

Work-Life Balance

The healthcare sector is a stressful job where patient care is the top priority. However, due to this, healthcare professionals’ mental and physical well-being is constantly neglected. As a result, due to poor work-life balance, professionals either leave their job, switch their careers, or start looking out for better opportunities.

According to OECD data, an estimated 69,000 qualified Indian doctors and 56,000 trained nurses were working in the UK, US, Australia, and Canada in 2017. 

The nation invests resources to train young medical professionals; therefore, India loses out on skilled workers when they decide to migrate, leading to further crisis.

The lack of investment, shortage of skilled workforce has been a catalyst which led to the brain drain of healthcare professionals.

From losing a resource to developed countries to compromising the healthcare delivery system and patient outcomes, the downsides of migration are many.

Steps To Minimise Brain Drain Of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals migrate due to the lack of career opportunities, poor wages, and work-life balance, and despite several government measures, the brain drain of professionals continues unabated. 

However, adequate measures can positively impact and minimize the brain drain of Indian healthcare professionals.

Government Policies

The Indian government can frame policies such as prioritizing skill development through its National Skill Development Mission, which will give more exposure to healthcare professionals. The National Skill Development Mission aims to train an estimated 400 million people across India by 2022.

Availability Of Locum Jobs

Having an option to work as locums offers professionals to choose where they work and when they work. The availability of locum jobs will allow professionals to work with freedom, and maintain a healthy work-life balance while enabling institutions to overcome staffing shortages. 

Recognizing Talent

Employee recognition is paramount as it creates a friendly environment motivating the professionals and increasing their productivity. In addition, recognizing the efforts of healthcare professionals creates a positive work culture. Institutions can appreciate the hard-working staff by rewarding them for their performance.

Addressing Workforce Shortages

Workforce shortages are one of the biggest concerns of the healthcare industry, which often leads to burnout among healthcare professionals due to too much work pressure. Further, healthcare professionals quit jobs due to physical and mental exhaustion and look for better opportunities overseas.


Timely measures such as these will only lay a stronger foundation to help prevent the brain drain of healthcare professionals.

The brain drain of professionals is a major concern that is now being addressed by Jobizo, India’s first digitized flexible healthcare recruitment platform.

Jobizo, with its dynamic idea, is here to create a long-lasting impact. Now, healthcare professionals decide when and where they would like to offer their services on a locum basis and for whom.

With Jobizo, healthcare professionals can access several locum job opportunities with 100% pay transparency. Jobizo is on a mission to build a robust base for the healthcare industry to thrive in the long run with the help of the services of talented and qualified professionals.

Download the Jobizo App today, work anytime, anywhere as locums while receiving better compensation and a career you deserve.

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