No specialist doctors to serve in rural areas

No specialist doctors to serve in rural areas

No specialist doctors to serve in rural areas

Rural and small-town India are terribly short of specialist doctors, particularly surgeons who could save lakhs of lives in the hinterland.

Close to 75 per cent sanctioned posts of surgeons are vacant in the 30-bedded community health centres (CHC) in small towns, which serve as referral points for patients coming from primary health care centres in the villages.

A CHC, besides 30 beds, is expected to be equipped with an operation theatre, X-ray machine, labour room and laboratory facilities.

Out of the total sanctioned posts, 74.6 per cent posts of surgeons are vacant in these CHCs all over the country. In addition, about 65 per cent posts of obstetricians and gynaecologists; 68 per cent physicians and 63 per cent paediatricians were vacant.

Overall, close to 68 per cent sanctioned posts of specialists at the CHCs were vacant as on March 31, revealed the latest rural health care statistics released by the union health ministry on Wednesday.“The social environment and physical infrastructure at the CHCs are not conducive to attract the specialists. The government has failed to recruit the newer graduates to the CHCs and the whole system now needs radical reform,” Meenakshi Gautam, a public health researcher from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Health told Deccan Herald.