State governments remain apathetic to primary health: Assocham

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New Delhi, Sep 21 (UNI) About 50 per cent of sanctioned posts of specialists at Community Health Centres (CHCs) across India are vacant, says a study done by Associated Chamber of Commerce.

As many as 59.2 per cent 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 4,500 CHCs managed and run by state governments, says Assocham, with its president Sajjan Jindal dubbing the situation as utterly apathetic.

Besides, 32 per cent and 8.8 per cent of sanctioned posts of male health worker and female health worker are also vacant in CHCs.

In primary health centres (PHCs), about 13.8 per cent of sanctioned posts of female health assistant and 22.1 per cent of male health assistant are also vacant.

Condition are worse at sub centres, the study notes, pointing out that 37.2 per cent and 5 per cent of such centres are without a male health worker and female health worker respectively. About 4.7 per cent sub centres do not have both male and female health worker.

The large shortfall in male health workers is resulting in poor male participation in family welfare and other health programmes, the study notes.

About 5.6 per cent of the PHCs are without a doctor, about 40 per cent without a lab technician and about 17 per cent without a pharmacist, it points out.

About 50 per cent of sub centres, 76 per cent of PHCs and 91 per cent of CHCs are located in the government buildings. The rest are located either in rented buildings or rent-free panchayat or voluntary society buildings.

State governments need to construct 66,382 buildings for sub centres, 3,618 for PHCs and 199 for CHCs.

Assocham recommends that rural health infrastructure should be given the same priority as is being rooted for roads, ports and aviation sector.

UNI SAA SR HT1155

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