Not a single rural healthcare centre in 15 states meets govt's minimum quality standards -Himani Chandna
CPR report says healthcare centres don’t meet standards designed by health ministry in terms of infrastructure, manpower, medical equipment and drugs.
New Delhi: Not a single rural healthcare centre in 15 Indian states meets the bare minimum quality standards — set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare — such as establishing essential infrastructure, employing the minimum mandated manpower apart from buying required medical equipment and drugs.
The findings are part of a report by the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a New Delhi-based think-tank, which collated government data to find that much of the three-tier healthcare system — of sub-centres (SCs), primary health centres (PHCs) and the community health centres (CHCs) — does not conform to the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) set by the ministry.
CPR found that as on March 2018, of the 1.58 lakh SCs, only 11,000 centres (a mere 6 per cent) met IPHS norms. Similarly, of the 25,700 PHCs, only 3,000 (12 per cent) adhered to the norms while in case of CHCs, only 728 of the 5,600 follow basic standards.
“Out of the total 36 states (29 states and seven union territories), 15 states have reported zero centres functioning as per IPHS norms,” the CPR report says.
The list includes Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal.
The IPHS is a set of measures designed to improve the quality of health infrastructure in all centres, including government hospitals. These norms are expected to be the primary benchmarks for assessing the improvement of quality and functioning status of health facilities.
While health ministry officials refused to come on record on the report, a senior ministry bureaucrat, requesting anonymity, said the state governments are responsible for adherence to norms.
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