Data compiled by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in an answer to a Parliament question points out manpower shortage in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
While sanctioned posts are way below requirement,the vacancy figures are very high,for which the ministry holds non-availability of trained manpower and unwillingness of doctors to work in rural areas as primary reasons.
Of the 9,825 sanctioned posts of specialists in community health centres (CHCs),only 4,156 are in place. The number of required specialists as on March 2010 was 18,140. The shortfall in case of doctors is 2,433 against the requirement of 23,673. The total number of sanctioned posts is 29,639.
While the shortage of doctors may be explained by the ministrys defence lack of enough medical colleges and doctors reluctance it is the dismal figure for health assistants that is a matter of grave concern.
A total of 23,673 male health assistants are required in primary health centres. There are only 6,912 in place. For female health assistants the requirement is the same and there are only 5,070 in place.
Health assistants are the ones who make basic services available at primary health centres (PHCs). Against the requirement of 28,208 pharmacists in the CHCs and PHCs,only 4,653 are in place.
In answer to another question in the Lok Sabha,the ministry admitted that the number of victims of leptospirosis a rare bacterial infection characterised by fever,nausea,chills and muscle pain has been going up in Gujarat,which is one of the five endemic states.
Between 2009 and 2011,the number of people in the state succumbing to the disease rose from 49 to 153. the number of cases rose from 225 to 830.
The number of deaths in the country almost doubled,standing at 174 in 2009 and touching 313 in 2011. Kerala with 140 deaths in 2011 was second in the list.