The president said, the country requires not only accessible but affordable medical facilities.

The overall shortage translates to 81.2 percent as on 2015.

The president offered solutions to help overcome some of the challenges. He suggested the situation requires increasing the number of medical colleges and engagement of corporate sector, especially in the rural area.

He asked people to think about the kind of healthcare system they want – a commercial, profit-driven one or a system compatible with the socio-economic conditions of the society.

The president also condemned attacks on doctors, medical staff and vandalism of health institutions. “This is no way… If you can’t trust doctors whom can you trust.”

The region has witnessed protests by medical professionals over the issue in the recent past.

Mukherjee also visited the 800-year-old Sri Krishna Temple in the Udupi.

The temple was renovated with wooden craft a month ahead of the presidential visit, said KR Shashank Bhatt, a disciple of the 88-year-old head priest at the temple.

Udupi is considered a fertile ground for the banking sector and the birthplace of the Syndicate Bank and the Corporation Bank. Karnataka’s coastal city is also known for its cuisines and temples.