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State of Rural Healthcare in India-NRHM Report

India's rural health centers are critically short of trained medical personnel. The country's 22,669 primary health centers are in sorry state of affairs increasing people's suffering. According to the recent National Rural Health Mission report nearly 8% PHC don't have a doctor while nearly 39% were running without a lab technician and about 17.7% without a pharmacist. The PHCs are supposed to have one medical officer supported by paramedical staff.

To compound the problem PHCs in some states donot have adequate labour rooms and operation theatres.While not a single of UP's 3,660 PHCs have either a labour room or an operation theatre,the number stands at 208 labour rooms (13%) and 218(13%) OTs in Bihar's 1,641 PHCs,105 (20%) Lrs and 50 (10%)O Ts in Chattisgarh's 518 PHCs and 131 (4%) LR s and 108 (12%) O Ts in Kerala's 909 PHCs.

The condition of 3,910 community health centers supposed to provide specialized medical care is equally appalling.Out of the sanctioned posts, about 59.4% of surgeons,45% of obstetricians and gynaecologists,61.1% of physicians and 53.8% of pediatricians were found to be vacant.Moreover there is a shortfall of 70.2% specialists at the CHCs. The report says there is a huge challenge to meet the shortfall for rural health infrastructure specially the manpower.

According to Planning Commission figures India's CHCs require 3,910 surgeons. While only 2,372 are sanctioned, just 972 are in position creating a vacancy of 1,381 posts for surgeons and a shortfall of 2,376 surgeons in CHCs.As for physicians CHCs require 3,910 of them. There are only 832 in position with 1,296 vacant posts and a shortfall of 2,516 physicians. Of the 3,910 pediatricians required only 1,951 posts are sanctioned of which just 837 are in position. There is a vacancy of 953 posts and a shortfall of 2,511 pediatricians.

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