Friday, November 7, 2008

-Where are the Doctors?, says "Assocham", Indian industries.

India lags in primary health, lacks specialists : iGovernment

New Delhi: About 50 per cent of sanctioned posts of specialists
at various community health centres (CHCs) throughout India are vacant,which shows that the primary health still remains the lowest priority of state governments including union territories, reveals an industry lobby report.

According to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industries (Assocham) Paper 'Role of Health Insurance in Medical Care in India', 59.2 per cent of posts of surgeons, 46.4 per cent of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 56.6 per cent of physicians and 51.9 per cent of pediatricians are vacant in the 4,500 CHCs in the country.

Releasing the paper, Assocham President Sajjan Jindal said that 2,525 CHCs should have been added to current operational community health centres that number around 5,000 by end of 2007-08 which did not happen at all, speaks of utter apathy that state governments observed towards them.
The CHCs are supposed to provide specialised medical care in the form of facilities of surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists, physicians and paediatricians throughout the country to promote rural health.

Even out of the sanctioned posts, a significant percentage of posts are vacant at other levels. For instance, about 8.8 per cent of the
sanctioned posts of female health worker are vacant as compared to about 32 per cent of the male health worker.

At primary health centres (PHCs), about 13.8 per cent of the sanctioned posts of female health assistant and 22.1 per cent of male health assistant are vacant.
At the sub centre level, the extent of existing manpower can be assessed from the fact that about five per cent of the sub centres were without a female health worker, about 37.2 per cent sub centres werewithout  male health worker and about 4.7 per cent sub centres were without both female health worker as well as male health worker.

This indicates a large shortfall in male health workers, resulting in poor male participation in family welfare and other health programmes, the Assocham paper said.
About 5.6 per cent of the PHCs were without a doctor, about 40 per cent were without a lab technician and about 17 per cent were without a pharmacist.

The chamber has, therefore, recommended that states who manage these centres should attach equal priority to their well being just as they take up issues of creating infrastructure such as roads, ports and aviation.

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