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Friday, May 14, 2021

Government report: Shortfall of 76.1% specialist doctors at CHCs in rural areas

Considered the backbone of India’s rural health care system, CHCs are 30-bed hospitals – each covering four primary health centres – with specialised services.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
Updated: April 15, 2021 7:33:07 am
While there is an overall shortage of specialists at CHCs in rural areas, the report says their number has grown from 3,881 in 2019 to 4,857 in 2020, an increase of 27.7 per cent.

India an overall shortfall of 76.1 per cent specialist doctors at the Community Health Centres (CHCs) in rural areas, according to the latest Union Health Ministry data.

Considered the backbone of India’s rural health care system, CHCs are 30-bed hospitals – each covering four primary health centres – with specialised services. Each CHC is manned by four medical specialists – surgeon, physician, obstetrician/gynecologist and a pediatrician.

According to the Rural Health Statistics report released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday, in the 5,183 CHCs functioning in the rural areas, there is an overall shortfall of 76.1 per cent specialists as compared to the requirement for existing CHCs.

“Moreover, as compared to the requirement for existing infrastructure, there is a shortfall of 78.9 per cent of surgeons, 69.7 per cent of obstetricians & gynecologists, 78.2 per cent of physicians, and 78.2 per cent of pediatricians,” the report says.

The report also flags that overall 63.3 per cent of the sanctioned posts of specialists at CHCs are vacant in the rural areas. “The current position of specialists manpower at CHCs reveal that as on 31st March, 2020, out of the sanctioned posts, 68.4 per cent of Surgeons, 56.1 per cent of obstetricians & gynecologists, 66.8 per cent of physicians and 63.1 per cent of pediatricians are vacant,” it states.

Under the category of physicians at CHCs in rural areas, the requirement is 5,183; and there is a shortfall of 3,331. The five states with maximum shortfall under this category are Rajasthan (419); Uttar Pradesh (402); Gujarat (346); Odisha (335); and Tamil Nadu (323).

Under the category of surgeons at CHCs in rural areas, the requirement is 5,183; and there is a shortfall of 4,087. The five states with maximum shortfall under this category are Uttar Pradesh (545); Rajasthan (447); Gujarat (346); Madhya Pradesh (302); and Odisha (283).

Under the category of obstetricians and gynaecologists at CHCs in rural areas, the requirement is 5,183; and there is a shortfall of 3,611. The five states with maximum shortfall are Uttar Pradesh (550); Rajasthan (447); Gujarat (345); Tamil Nadu (339); and Madhya Pradesh (288).

While there is an overall shortage of specialists at CHCs in rural areas, the report says their number has grown from 3,881 in 2019 to 4,857 in 2020, an increase of 27.7 per cent.

The report states that for allopathy doctors at PHCs, there is a shortfall of 6.8 per cent of the total requirement for existing infrastructure as compared to manpower in position.

The data states that the required number of doctors at PHCs in rural areas is 24,918, and 8,638 positions are vacant. “This is again mainly due to significant shortfall of doctors at PHCs in the states of Odisha (461), Chhattisgarh (404), Rajasthan (249), Madhya Pradesh (134), Uttar Pradesh (121) and Karnataka (105),” the report says.

As on March 31, 2020 the overall shortfall in the posts of health worker (female) was 2 per cent of the total requirement, it says.

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