In recent years, the state has seen a significant surge in demand for veterinary services in India, especially in rural areas.
The number of veterinary services registered in the state increased by 7,000 in the first half of 2018, from 12,500 in the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by the Veterinary Health Foundation of India.
In 2017, there were only 5,000 registered veterinarians in the country.
While these numbers reflect a major increase in the number of veterinarians, the demand for vets in rural India has also seen a substantial drop.
The state witnessed a significant decrease in the demand during the second half of 2017, but this trend has reversed in 2018.
According to data from the Veterinary Services Board of India (VSBI), the demand in rural Gujarat has gone down by 7 per cent in the last year and demand in the capital, New Delhi, has gone up by 9 per cent.
As a result, in the three years to June 2018, demand in Gujarat increased by 10 per cent, according the VSBI.
The shortage of veterinary officers has been an issue for the state for years.
A survey conducted by the State Veterinary Medical Council (VMMC) in 2017 found that more than a quarter of the medical staff in the VMMC’s rural areas were non-medical professionals.
The VMMI had also pointed out that the shortage of medical officers is not just limited to Gujarat.
In 2016, the VPMC had released a report in which it had pointed out a similar situation in other states.
The report noted that there were more than 7,400 vacancies in medical service sector in Gujarat.
“We have seen a decrease in demand in our areas, but demand in other areas has increased,” said Praveen Gupta, president of the VSMC.
“The reason for this is that demand has been growing in rural hospitals and medical colleges.
The demand in these hospitals and colleges is lower than the demand we have in rural places,” said Gupta.
While the state government has been trying to address the shortage in veterinary officers in the past few years, it has faced an uphill battle in the implementation of these initiatives.
The government has not been able to implement the Veterinary Training and Research Institutes (VTRIs) in rural and rural-oriented areas of the state.
“In many areas, VTRIs have not been implemented due to a lack of funds.
The problem is also due to lack of awareness among the rural population about the need for veterinary training and research,” said Shanti Dhingra, president, the Gujarat Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA).
Dhingra said that the situation in rural Indian veterinary services is worsening and the government has to do more to address it.
“A number of NGOs and social organisations have been working towards improving the quality of veterinary training.
There is also a need for a central database to track all veterinary services performed in rural districts.
However, as of now, we do not have any central database for veterinary surgery.
The government has failed to meet the demand,” he said.
According to a report published by the VGMAC in 2017 on the shortage and underutilisation of veterinary professionals in Gujarat, the shortage was not limited to veterinary services.
The same report also highlighted the lack of veterinary students, veterinary college faculty and veterinary staff trained in veterinary science in the states.