25% posts of doctor vacant in rural areas

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India continues to reel under a severe shortage of doctors and specialists across all levels of healthcare delivery, explaining the weak responses to epidemics like the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome outbreak in Bihar that has so far killed over 150 children.

Government records show that one in every four sanctioned posts of doctor at primary health centres in villages is lying vacant.

As of March 31, 2018, India had a sanctioned strength of 34,417 doctors at PHCs across states with 8,572 vacancies. This amounts to a doctor vacancy rate of 24.9 per cent across village primary health centres.

The story of human resources is the same from the district hospital to sub-divisional hospital to community health centres.
In district hospitals, the sanctioned strength of doctors is 28,566 and the availability is 24,899. The shortfall is of 3,667 doctors. This puts the national rate of medics’ shortfall in district hospitals at 12.8 per cent — nearly one vacancy in every eight posts.

Across sub-divisional hospitals, one-third of the sanctioned posts of doctor are vacant. The requirement is of 19,576 doctors and the availability is 12,432. The shortfall: 36.4 per cent (one in every three posts).

The scariest situation is at the level of specialists, defined mainly as surgeons, obstetricians, gynaecologists, physicians and paediatricians, who are to be deputed at community health centre level to take the load of referrals from PHCs and district hospitals.

CHCs in the country need 22,496 specialists, but the vacant positions number a whopping 18,422. This shortfall is as high as 81.89 per cent, which comes to eight in 10 positions of specialists being vacant.

Source: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/25-posts-of-doctor-vacant-in-rural-areas/796264.html

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