The central government is tackling the shortage of doctors by increasing the capacity for training undergraduates and postgraduates in medical colleges, Health Minister JP Nadda said on Wednesday.

"India faces a crippling shortage of doctors. The government is tackling this by rapidly increasing the capacity for training undergraduates and postgraduates in existing medical colleges, and also by establishing new medical colleges," Nadda said while addressing the centenary convocation of Lady Hardinge Medical College here.

According to Nadda, the government has grand plans for redeveloping and modernising the college, to make it comparable with the best institutions in the world.

"The redevelopment plan with super speciality block and other associated structures on completion will decongest the present campus; provide enhanced infrastructure for teaching and research, and wholesome environment for patients."

The Lady Hardinge Medical College is one of the oldest medical colleges in India, set up in 1916.

Talking further about the measures being taken to tackle the shortage of doctors, Nadda said the main reason behind the increase in the retirement age of medical officers and non-teaching specialists is that those professionals can be posted to dispensaries and specialist polyclinics to enable the common man benefit from their experience and expertise.

"Medical education forms the apex of the healthcare pyramid. It is the quality of graduating doctors and specialists that will determine the quality of healthcare services in the country for generations to come. Ensuring the highest standards of medical education is a top priority for this government," the Health Minister said.