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J&K’s rural hospitals face manpower shortage

‘Dearth of 577 doctors at primary health centres s’

Post by M Peerzada on Sunday, January 8, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 07: The rural hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir are facing shortage of manpower, especially of specialist doctors and paramedical staff, the Rural Health Statistics (RHS) report 2020-21 of the Union Health Ministry has revealed.
As per the yearly report, there is a shortage of 577 doctors at primary health centres (PHCs) across rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The dearth of doctors is affecting healthcare services and continues to put an extra burden on tertiary care hospitals.
The report said that at Community Health Centres (CHCs) across JK, 43 posts of surgeons, 32 posts of physicians and 127 posts of specialist doctors are also lying vacant.
The lack of healthcare facilities in rural areas is evident by the fact that patients across places are compelled to move to district or sub-district hospitals for treatment of minor ailments.
Maternity services also remain affected due to shortage of doctors. As on March 31 2021, 24 posts of obstetricians and gynaecologists are vacant at CHCs in rural areas.
The yearly RHS report revealed that 28 posts of paediatricians, 127 posts of specialists, 27 posts of anesthetists, 12 posts of eye surgeons, 69 posts of radiographers are vacant at CHCs.
The RHS report, which provides data on health infrastructure including manpower, 147 posts of general duty medical officers (GDMOS) (allopathic) are also lying vacant at CHCs. Similarly, 69 posts of radiographers are vacant in CHCs.
The report also said there 170 vacant posts of pharmacists in PHCs and 62 posts of pharmacists at CHCs are also lying vacant.
Also there is a shortfall of 486 lab technicians in PHCs and 47 similar posts are also lying vacant in CHCs of rural areas.
The publication is based on data provided by the States/UTs. The data has been analyzed and cross-checked for consistency and also validated with the data available from other sources.
The report also notes that the rural hospitals in J&K have a shortfall of 286 nursing staff in PHCs and there is also a shortage of 107 nursing staff in the CHCs.
The sub centres in the rural areas are also grappling with manpower shortage and these posts have not been filled over the years adding to woes of patients.
As per the survey in J&K, 234 posts of health workers (female)/ANM are vacant at sub centres in rural areas. Similarly there is a shortfall of 1582 male health workers at sub centres.
It said that 74 posts of female health workers are also lying at PHCs. The PHCs in rural areas also have a shortfall of 1678 health workers.
Administrative Secretary, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department, Bhupinder Kumar said the department is already doing a gap analysis study for infrastructure and provision of adequate manpower and they will prepare a plan for the same.
“We are in touch with the recruiting agencies and this is an ongoing activity. Wherever there are vacancies those will be filled on a war-footing basis,” he said.
“Then we will make a plan of action and we will try to fill those gaps in a limited period of time on priority,” he said.
Kumar said the gap analysis will cover all the broader areas including manpower, machinery and equipment in healthcare delivery.
The Statistics Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been bringing the RHS out every year and covers approximately 2 lakh public health facilities serving the whole population of the country.
The RHS 2020-21 is a vital source of information on rural health infrastructure and human resources available in the public health institutions of all States and union territories.
It also facilitates the identification of the need for additional resources for better management of the public health delivery system.
The rural health data is extensively used for decision-making and policy intervention by government policy planners, researchers, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

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