Srinagar: The healthcare infrastructure in the peripheries is more than what is required and pathetically running in surplus. The unhealthy growth is not only putting an extra burden on the state’s exchequer but is ruining the prospects of growth in this vital sector.
As per data provided by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India, as on March 2016 there are additional 796 Sub Centres, 310 Public Health Centres (PHCs) and 3 Community Health Centres (CHCs) functional in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The data reveals that in case of PHCs, there is a total requirement of 327 in the state based on the population of 2011 census, however, a total number of 637 PHCs are functional in the state, creating a surplus strength of 310 PHCs as on 31 March 2016.
In case of Sub Centres, the state’s total requirement is 2009 Sub Centres in the peripheries, and in contrast a total number of 2805 Sub Centres are functioning in the state, creating a surplus strength of 796 Sub Centres.
Interestingly, the Community Health Centres (CHCs) strength should be 81 while as 84 are functional in the peripheries.
The comparative analysis of the data on the strength of infrastructure present in the state’s peripheries from the year 2005 till 2016 reveals that there has been considerable increase in the infrastructure in the peripheries, with less importance given to the incorporation of manpower at such facilities.
As per data, there was a total number of 1879 Sub Centres functional in the state in the year 2005, the figures rose to 2805 in the year 2016 indicating the addition of 49 per cent in terms of infrastructure within the period of 11 years.
Similarly, in terms of PHCs, there was a total number of 334 Sub Centres functional in the state in the year 2005, the figures rose to 637 in the year 2016 indicating the addition of 90 per cent in terms of infrastructure within the period of 11 years.
The data clearly reveals that there has been a mushrooming of health centres in peripheries, with less attention given to the creation of posts in order to make all such facilities functional.
The data reveals that as on March 2016, out of 637 PHCs there are 281 centres functioning without a lady doctor, 110 centres without a Pharmacist and 318 centres without a lab technician, 69 Centres functioning without a doctor and 172 Centres functioning without only having a 1 doctor running all the chorus.
Notably, in terms of specialist manpower, the data reveals that there is considerable dearth of manpower to run the facilities that have been created in the peripheries. The data also shows that Government has not been able to keep up with the pace of additionally created infrastructure, by not creating the posts equivalent and required to run these facilities.
Though the state has been walking the ramp with having a surplus number in terms of infrastructure, it is running short of manpower at the same time, said an official of the health department.
“At CHC level in the state there is a requirement of 336 specialists in against the requirement, the sanctioned posts are as high as 344. The scenario is entirely different with 190 in position, thus running short of 146 specialists,” he added.
As per the data, there is a shortage of 231 Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) at Sub Centres and PHCs, 586 Medical Officers at PHC level and 154 Specialists at CHC level.