Bengaluru: Health centre numbers dip

Bengaluru: There is a significant drop in Community Health Centres (CHCs) in rural parts of the state. According to the latest data published by the Health and Family Welfare Department about rural health infrastructure, CHCs in rural areas have dropped from 325 in 2010 to 206 in 2016. 

"Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and CHCs are the first stop for rural people, especially for any injuries or pregnancy cases. They are among the nearest health centres for them. There isn't a need for them to travel all the way to district hospitals for such cases," said Dr Manojith from BGS Global Hospitals.

He said that the distance to district hospitals is more in most of the rural areas and it leads to delays in treatment, which has caused deaths in the past.

This also raises questions about the National Rural Health Mission, launched by the Prime Minister in April 2005. The main aim of the mission was to make public health delivery system fully functional and accountable to the community with efficient decentralised planning, delegation of powers, human resource management, community involvement, rigorous monitoring and evaluation against standards.

Ajay Seth, state additional chief secretary for health and family welfare services, said, "We have doubled the number of PHCs (Public Health Centres) in the state and have gone closer to villages. Over 50 CHCs in the state have been upgraded to taluka hospitals because of which the CHCs number has gone down."

However, an earlier report published by the Health and Family Welfare Department had also stated that overall, 67.6% of sanctioned posts of specialists at CHCs were vacant and compared to the required existing infrastructure, there was a shortfall of 81.2% specialists at CHCs in the country.

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