In news– The Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare has published the Rural Health Statistics 2021–2022 recently.
- It provides data on health infrastructure including manpower up to 31st March of every year.
- In order to identify the deficiencies in the present healthcare infrastructure and human resources in rural, urban, and tribal sections of the nation, it would function as a vision document.
- As per this report, India’s rural healthcare system continues to be plagued by shortfall on two critical fronts — doctors and infrastructure.
- There is a shortage of 83.2 percent of surgeons, 74.2 percent of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 79.1 percent of physicians and 81.6 percent of paediatricians.
- Less than half the Primary Health Centres (PHC) function on a 24×7 basis. Of the 5,480 functioning Community Health Centres (CHC), only 541 have all four specialists.
- In the Indian healthcare system, sub-centres (SC) are the first point of contact for a patient, catering to a population of 3,000-5,000. This is succeeded by a PHC, which is required to look after the daily needs of 20,000-30,000 people.
- CHCs provide referrals and access to specialists, catering to 80,000-120,000 people. These facilities are overburdened across the board, with SCs currently looking after more than 5,000 people, PHCs catering to 36,049 people and CHCs to 164,027 people. This, coupled with a human resource shortage, plagues access to adequate and quality healthcare.
- SCs, PHCs and CHCs had more staff in 2021, at the height of the deadly second wave of COVID-19, as compared to now.
- The number of auxiliary nurse midwives at SCs has decreased in 2022. The shortage was most pronounced in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
- The number of doctors at PHCs has shrunk to 30,640 in 2022 from 31,716 in 2021.
- Lab technicians, nursing staff and radiographers at PHCs and CHCs have all recorded a marginal increase between 2021 and 2022.
- Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha face the highest shortage in surgeons, obstetricians / gynaecologists, paediatricians and radiographers at CHCs across the country.
- Urban PHCs, part of the National Health Mission’s efforts to set up multi-tier health centres catering to a population of 50,000-75,000, also face severe shortages. These facilities currently face a shortage of 18.8 percent of doctors, 16.8 percent of pharmacists, 16.8 percent of lab technicians and 19.1 percent of staff nurses.
- Urban CHCs encounter a shortfall of 46.9 percent of total specialists, 14.7 percent of General Duty Medical Officers, 49.3 percent of radiographers, 3.9 percent of pharmacists, 7.2 per cent of lab technicians and 5.3 per cent of staff nurses.
- While there has been a decline in the past year, a huge improvement has been recorded as compared to 2005, when the government launched the National Rural Health Mission.
- The allopathic doctors at PHCs have increased in 2022, about 50.9% increase. There is a shortfall of 3.1% of allopathic doctors at PHC, out of the total requirement at all India level.
- The number of specialist doctors at Community Health Centers (CHCs) have also increased in 2022.
- Moreover, compared to the requirement for existing infrastructure, there is a shortfall of 83.2 percent of surgeons, 74.2 percent of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 79.1 percent of physicians and 81.6 percent of paediatricians.
- Overall, there is a shortfall of 79.5 percent of specialists at the CHCs as compared to the requirement.
Health Management Information System (HMIS) 2020-21 & 2021-22 report-
- The report offers a detailed analysis of the major performance indicators for patient care, adolescent health, immunisation, family planning coverage, and maternal and child health.
- The compendium includes selected research studies on maternal health, child health, family planning, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and communicable diseases (CDs), among other topics, done by PRCs in the years 2021–2022.