Rural Health Statistics Report

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Rural Health Statistics Report

According to the Rural Health Statistics report recently published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India is grappling with an acute shortage of specialist doctors.

Community Health Centers (CHCs) are short of specialist doctors by almost 80%.

Community Health Center (CHC)

  • CHCs are 30-bed block level health centres, ideally providing basic care related to surgery, Gynaecology, pediatrics and general medicine.
  • Community Health Centers (CHCs) are established in rural areas for timely care for 80,000 population in hilly and tribal areas and 1, 20,000 population in plain areas.
  • Community health centers in urban areas are set up as secondary care referral centers in metro cities with a population of 5 lakh and above, and in non-metro cities with a population of 2.5 lakh.

Key findings of report:

  • The report shows that the specialist doctors that CHCs are short of include surgeons (83.2%), obstetricians and gynecologists (74.2%), physicians (79.1%) and pediatricians (81.6%).
  • This is despite the fact that, in 2005, the number of specialist doctors in CHCs was 3,550, which is set to increase by 25% to 4,485 in 2022.
  • However, with the increase in the number of CHCs, it is also necessary to deploy specialist doctors to run these centers.

Key Recommendations-

  • Funds should be made available for outsourcing and providing ancillary services as per the requirement of each CHC, the report said.
  • The report also recommends that persons engaged in nursing work should also be trained in the ancillary procedures required for surgery.
  • Apart from specialist doctors, there is also a shortage of female health workers and auxiliary nursing midwives, with 14.4% of the posts lying vacant in primary health centers and sub-centers.

Source – The Hindu

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