- India is reeling under an acute shortage of specialist doctors, with a shortfall of nearly 80% of the required specialists at Community Health Centres (CHCs), reveals the Rural Health Statistics report published by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Thursday.
- The CHCs are 30-bed block-level health facilities which are ideally supposed to provide basic care related to surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics and general medicine.
- The report points out that there is a shortfall of specialist doctors, including surgeons (83.2%), obstetricians and gynaecologists (74.2%), physicians (79.1%) and paediatricians (81.6%).
- There are 6,064 CHCs across India, and the Health Ministry has been unsuccessful in meeting the requirement for specialist doctors in most of these centres.
- This is despite the fact that in 2005, the number of specialist doctors in the CHCs was 3,550, which has seen a 25% increase to 4,485 in 2022.
- However, with the number of CHCs growing, the requirement for specialists required to make the centres functional has also increased.
- “Requirements of specialist doctors in CHCs has increased by 63.8%, whereas there is only an increase of 26.3% in the actual number of in-position specialists,” the report notes.
- Apart from specialist doctors, there is a shortage of women health workers and auxiliary nursing midwives, with up to 14.4% of these posts lying vacant in primary health centres and sub-centres.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB