Rural Health Statistics Report

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently released the Rural Health Statistics Report. According to the report, there is an overall shortage of specialist doctors at the Community Health Centres.

Key findings of the report

  • There is an overall shortfall of 76.1% specialist doctors at the Community Health Centres in rural areas.
  • There are 5,183 Community Health Centres currently functioning in India.
  • There is a shortfall of 78.9% of surgeons, 78.2% of physicians, 69.7% of gynecologists and 78.2% of pediatricians.
  • Around 63.3% of sanctioned posts of specialists at the Community Health Centres are vacant.
  • Out of the sanctioned posts, the percentage of vacancy in individual posts is as follows:
    • 68.4% of Surgeons
    • 56.1% of gynecologists
    • 66.88% of physicians
    • 63.1% of pediatricians
  • The requirement of physicians in the CHCs is 5,183. However, there is a shortfall of 4,087. This has grown from 3,881 shortfall in 2019. The shortfall has increased by 27.7% in one year.
  • Under the category of Surgeons, the five states with maximum shortfall of physicians in CHC are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Under the category of Gynecologists, the five states with maximum shortfall of physicians in CHC are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • The number of doctors required in Primary Health Centres in rural area is 24,918. And around 8,638 positions are vacant.
  • The shortfall of doctors in PHCs were the highest in Odisha, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh,  and Karnataka.
  • The shortfall in the posts of health workers was 2%.

Rural Health System in India
Community Health Centres

The Community Health Centres are considered as the backbone of rural health care system of India. These Centres should have at least thirty beds. They should cover at least four primary health centres with specialized services. Every Community Health Centre should be manned by four medical specialists such as physician, surgeon, gynecologist and a pediatrician.

Primary Health Centre

The Primary Health Centre should consist of four to six beds, 14 subordinate paramedical staff.

Sub Centres

These are the most peripheral contact point between primary health care system and the community. It should consist of on HW (Female) or ANM and one HW (male). HW is Health Worker and ANM is Auxiliary Nurse Midwife.

GoI measures to improve rural health care system

  • During the Union Budget 2021-22, the Finance Minister announced that a new centrally sponsored scheme will be launched under Pradhan Mantri Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana.
  • Around 1, 50, 000 Health and Wellness Centres are to be created to transform the existing sub centres and PHCs.
  • The National Health Policy, 2017 aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
  • The National Rural Health Mission was launched to provide affordable, accessible and quality health care to the rural population.

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