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More than 76% deficit of specialist doctors in rural health centers | India News

NEW DELHI: Although the availability of allopathic doctors and health workers in rural India has increased substantially in the last 15 years (between 2005 and 2020), there is still a severe shortage of more than 76% in terms of specialists as surgeons, gynecologists, physicians and pediatricians in community health centers (CHC), says the latest Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2019-20.
The RHS, published by the Ministry of Health, shows a serious gap in the country’s health infrastructure, even as there are small improvements in various disciplines compared to the statistics provided by the Center to Parliament in 2019, which had shown a deficit of the 81%.
Despite the Center’s efforts to boost rural health infrastructure through programs such as the National Rural Health Mission and measures to increase the availability of doctors and specialists, the most remote and rural areas remain at a disadvantage.
Between 2005 and 2020, although the availability of specialist doctors in HCC increased from 3,550 to 4,957, the gap between required and available specialists was 6,110. The total requirement for specialists is estimated at 13,384.
“In addition, compared to the requirements for the existing infrastructure, there is a deficit of 78.9% of surgeons, 69.7% of obstetricians and gynecologists, 78.2% of doctors and 78.2% of pediatricians, ”says the RHS. “Overall, there is a shortfall of 76.1 specialists in CHCs (community health centers) compared to the requirement of existing CHCs,” he adds.
States with significant deficits include Gujarat, which lacks 996 specialists versus a requirement of 1,088; Madhya Pradesh, with a requirement of 916, is below 867; and West Bengal, which requires 380 specialists but has fewer than 247 specialists.
However, allopathic physicians in PHC have increased from 20,308 in 2005 to 28,516 in 2020, 40% more. There is a 6.8% deficit of allopathic physicians at the PHC level. The number of ANMs in sub-centers and APS has increased by around 59.6%. The general deficit (which excludes the existing surplus in some states) of female health workers and ANM is only 2% according to the norm of one HW (F) / ANM per subcentre and PHC.
The Center recently allowed two-year postgraduate courses that applicants can take after completing their MBBS, to address the shortage of specialists in district hospitals and in rural areas of India. Candidates can pursue these courses by passing the NEET-PG exam after completing MBBS.
The data also shows that as of March 31, 2020, there were 38,595 functional health and wellness centers in rural India. Ayushman Bharat’s goal is to establish 1.53,000 health and wellness centers by 2022. There are 1,43,538 and 2,87,025 beds available at the level of subdivisional hospitals and district hospitals, respectively.
A sub-center in India currently serves an average population of 5,729, a primary health center an average population of 35,730, and a community health center an average of 1,71,779 people, the data shows.
According to the rules, a sub-center can serve a maximum of 5,000 people, a primary health center a maximum of 30,000 and a community health center a maximum of 1.20,000 people.

Times of India