Rural health reports workforce shortage in 2020-21

Friday May 13, 2022 at 5:50 pm

Even though the quantity of staff members, including doctors, has increased significantly in the past 16 years, there continues to be a shortfall in terms of the healthcare workforce in rural India. The latest Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2020-21 claimed that the healthcare infrastructure had witnessed significant growth during the period.

As per Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2020-21, there are 1,57,819 sub-centers (SC), 30,579 primary health centers (PHCs), and 5,951 community health centers (CHCs) respectively, functioning in rural and urban areas of the country. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya released Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2020-21 in Gujarat on May 5. It also claimed that 1,224 sub-divisional or sub-district hospitals and 764 district hospitals (DHs) are currently operational.

The overall shortfall of Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) is at 2.9 percent of the total requirement as of March 31, 2021, while the number of Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) at sub-centers and primary health centers (PHCs) has increased from 1,33,194 in 2005 to 2,14,820 in 2021 which amounts to a handsome increase of about 61.3%.

The allopathic doctors at primary health centers (PHCs) have also increased from 20,308 in 2005 to 31,716 in 2021, which is an excellent 56.2% increase. There is still a shortfall of 4.3%  of the total requirement at all Indian levels of allopathic doctors at primary health centers (PHCs).

“The specialist doctors at community health centers have increased from 3,550 in 2005 to 4,405 in 2021. Moreover, compared to the existing infrastructure requirement, there is a shortfall of 83.2% of surgeons, 74.2% of obstetricians & gynecologists, 82.2% of physicians, and 80.6% of pediatricians. Overall, there is a shortfall of 79.9% specialists at the CHCs as compared to the requirement for existing CHCs,” the report stated.

About 17,012 general duty medical officers (GDMOs), allopathic and 514 Ayush specialists along with 2,955 general duty medical officers (GDMOs) AYUSH is also available at community health centers (CHCs) as of March 31, 2021. Eight hundred five anesthetists and 289 eye surgeons are also available at community health centers (CHCs).

A total of 1,224 Sub Divisional or Sub District Hospitals (SDH) and 764 District Hospitals (DHs) are currently functioning throughout the rural country. 15,274 and 26,929 doctors and 42,073 and 90,435 paramedical staff are presently working in them, respectively.

There are also 1,48,608 and 2,84,227 beds available at the level of  Sub District Hospitals (SDH) and District Hospitals (DHs).

There is a nationwide increase of 10,075 numbers of sub-centers (SCs) from the year 2005. Significant growth has been observed in the States of Rajasthan (3,019) and Gujarat (1,888), followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,315) and Chhattisgarh (1,297).

There is an increase of 1,904 primary health centers (PHCs) at the national level in 2021 against 2005. The increase in primary health centers (PHCs) from the year 2005 has been observed in the States of Jammu & Kashmir (557) and Karnataka (460), followed by Rajasthan (417), Gujarat (407), and Assam (338).

At the national level, there has been an increase of 2,135 community health centers (CHCs) from 2005. The growth has been primarily observed in the States of Uttar Pradesh (367) and Tamil Nadu (350), followed by Rajasthan (263), West Bengal (253), and Bihar (205).

The Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2020-21 is a vital source of information on rural health infrastructure and human resources available in the public health institutions of all States and union territories. It also facilitates the identification of the need for additional resources for better management of the public health delivery system. The rural health data is extensively used for decision-making and policy intervention by government policy planners, researchers, NGOs, and other stakeholders.