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Most Karnataka public healthcare centres lack adequate staff, infrastructure: Report

The report was submitted to the Karnataka HC after an inspection conducted at 100 PHCs and one CHC.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 27, 2021 7:11:09 am
Karnataka, BangaloreThe report noted that PHCs at the police headquarters in Dharwad, Doora village in Mysuru, Bellavi in Tumakuru and Hiremagaluru in Chikkamagaluru were found to be in a "dilapidated condition" and that those required "immediate attention". (Representational image)

A report submitted to the Karnataka High Court after a random assessment conducted by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) has said that there is a lack of adequate healthcare professionals and infrastructure at several public healthcare centres (PHCs) in the state.

“No quality medical service can be expected from health workers in the absence of requisite medical officers and midwives,” stated the report submitted to the HC after an inspection conducted at 100 PHCs and one Community Health Centre (CHC).

Further, the report pointed out that the staff pattern was not uniform in all the PHCs.

As per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), the number of staff members should be at least 13 at Type-A PHCs and 14 for those in the Type-B category.

Meanwhile, 67 out of the total 100 PHCs inspected failed to provide residential accommodation for doctors and paramedical staff while lack of cleanliness was also noted by several District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs).

Incidentally, the report highlighted that only 60 PHCs out of those inspected had provided treatment for Covid-19 patients. “Considering the gravity of Covid-19 cases that existed during the first and second wave in the state, if all PHCs were equipped to handle Covid-19 cases, it would have certainly reduced the burden on Covid Care Centres and other hospitals,” it added.

The report noted that PHCs at the police headquarters in Dharwad, Doora village in Mysuru, Bellavi in Tumakuru and Hiremagaluru in Chikkamagaluru were found to be in a “dilapidated condition” and that those required “immediate attention.”

At the same time, it has been found that 76 PHCs had no emergency ambulance service available while only 45 had the facility for psychiatric treatment. Of the total 100, as many as 26 PHCs had no labour room, the report pointed out.

The inspections were conducted based on the directions issued by the HC while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that raised concerns on the lack of health facilities at PHCs in rural areas of the state.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said earlier this month that the state was taking a “scientific approach” towards strengthening the health infrastructure across hospitals at different levels.

“Health infrastructure is now being strengthened at local and taluka levels. With primary healthcare centres and community healthcare centres undergoing upgrades, we have decided to expand the fleet of ambulances ready to extend their reach as well,” Bommai had said at an event held in Bengaluru on September 12.

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