India: Shortfall of 81.6% specialist doctors in CHCs

Dr Shreekant Shinde, MP, Shiv Sena, raised a question about the shortfall of the doctors in rural areas. While answering the question, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, the primary responsibility to ensure availability of health human resources in public health facilities lies with the state governments. There was a shortfall of 81.6% specialist doctors in the Community Health Centres (CHCs)

India: Shortfall of 81.6% specialist doctors in CHCs
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  • However, as per Rural Health Statistics, 2016-17 (as on 31st March, 2017) brought out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare based on the information provided by the States/UTs, there were 4156 specialist doctors available (in position) against the requirement of 22496 in the Community Health Centres (CHCs) across the country.
  • There was a shortfall of 81.6% specialist doctors in the Community Health Centres (CHCs).
  • Various financial and non-financial incentives are provided in States under NHM to encourage specialists to join and remain within the public health system.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shreekant Shinde, MP, Shiv Sena said, “The government should focus on increasing the number of doctors. After passing MBBS, a doctor has to serve in a rural area for a year. But, some doctors opt for post-graduation and do not get ready to serve in the rural areas.”

He added, “The doctor should be given appropriate facilities, security and remuneration for serving in the rural areas. To increase the number of doctors, the doctors who acquire education from abroad should be given a chance to work in the rural areas. But, the screening exam they have to give is tough. So, this exam should be made easy.”

Abhijeet More, conveyor of Jan Aarogya Abhiyan, an NGO said, “Not only the Community Health Centers, there is a shortage of doctors in the primary health centre. Therefore, the patients do not get the medical facilities on time. When a patient comes to a health centre, there are no doctors. Owing to which, the patient has to go back to the district hospital for treatment. The patients lose on time and money. And if the patient is seriously injured then the relatives face major problems.”