The recently released NITI Aayog report highlights the gap in secondary and tertiary health care.
The gap between secondary and tertiary health services highlighted in the report:
- Facility-based care under tertiary care lacks trained human resources such as general doctors, specialists and dedicated nursing staff in emergency departments in proportion to patient numbers.
- Critical care services varied across hospitals, but were generally lacking in smaller district hospitals.
- Only 3% to 5% of beds in district hospitals across India are reserved for emergency care.
- Secondary level government hospitals (district hospitals) have performed better than tertiary level hospitals (medical colleges) in terms of standard operating procedure for case management, mock drills, regular audits etc.
Key recommendations for secondary and tertiary health care:
- develop a robust integrated emergency care service system;
- Strengthening of existing pre-hospital services such as ambulance services;
- Ensuring efficient conduct of medical care during disasters;
- Expanding blood bank related services;
- develop mechanisms to ensure free treatment for emergency care services;
- Creation of dedicated efficient funding mechanism at Central/State level to ensure continuous up-gradation of emergency services etc.
Health Care System in India:
Primary Health Care: This is the first level of contact between individuals and families with the health system. The services are provided through the following: Sub-centres and Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in rural areas, Health posts and Family Welfare Centers in urban areas.
Secondary Health Care: Patients from PHC are referred for treatment to specialists in better hospitals. At the block level, there are district hospitals and community health centres.
Tertiary health care: Specialized consultative care, usually provided on referral from primary and secondary medical care. These services are provided by medical colleges and advanced medical research institutes.
Source – The Hindu