Hyderabad: Sixty per cent of Public Health Centres (PHC) and hospitals established to treat citizens have only one doctor, and five per cent have zero. Out of 25,743 PHCs and hospitals across India, 1,494 PHCs operate without doctors, revealed a report issued by the Ministry of Health and family welfare.
Citing Rural Health Statistics (RHS) 2018, the ministry said that out of the total, 14,797 PHCs operate with one doctor, 7,321 with two, 954 with three, and 1,150 with four doctors. While the most astonishing part is that 1,494 PHCs treat patients without doctors.
The ministry, in response to a question raised in Lok Sabha, said that the individual state is responsible for appointing doctors. “Public Health Centres and hospital being a state subject, administrative and personnel matters, including that of recruitment of doctors at PHCs lie with the state government. However, under the National Health Mission (NHM), financial and technical support is provided to state/UT to strengthen their healthcare systems. This includes support for recruitment of doctors on a contractual basis,” said Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family.
Chattisgarh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh are the states with the highest number of PHCs without a doctor. Statistics also revealed that UTs like Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Delhi, and Daman and Diu have PHCs in the single digits, while Chandigarh has zero.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Half of the PHCs in Telangana operate without doctors. The state has 643 centres, of which 340 PHCs treat patients without a doctor’s observation. Andhra Pradesh faces a similar situation, as 50 per cent of the state’s PHCs has no doctors.