India faces a shortage of 54,037 specialists and paramedical staff in health centres. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Rajya Sabha that only 4,279 specialists at community health centres were available against the required 17,104, while there was a shortage of 11,332 health assistants, both male and female. Out of a total 27,734 laboratory technicians needed at primary health centres and community health centres, the country has only 12,886, Azad said. He added that 8,454 nurses were also required. Also, of the total 27,734 pharmacists required at primary health centres and community health centres, the country has only 20,956.