Survey points to improvement in rural health service

According to the Rural Health Survey Report 2009, released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday, a remarkable increase in human resource and infrastructure in the rural areas has been achieved since the launch of National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) in 2005.

"Comparing the situation of 2005 with 2009, there is a remarkable addition of human resources of all categories and improvement in the physical infrastructure of the health sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres," a statement from the health ministry said.

According to the survey, the number of primary health centres have increased by 84 percent, taking the number to 20,107. However, community health centres have increased to 4,050 from 2,822 in 2005.

"Since NRHM has been a major source of financing health infrastructure development and human resource deployment during this period, the gains reflect the impact of NRHM," the statement says.

While 57,000 new auxiliary nurses midwives have been added - bottom level health workers, the number of doctors at primary health centres is up by only 3,674. Ayush (Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathic) doctors are new addition to the health force and are presently numbered at 7,692.

The number of specialist doctors at community health centres are however limited to a meager 5,789.

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