KSLSA report on PHCs reveals crumbling infrastructure

KSLSA report on PHCs reveals crumbling infrastructure

The report said that most of the PHCs are not following Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines

Representative Image. Credit: DH File Photo

A Primary Health Centre (Urban PHC) at Siddapura in Bengaluru has just one toilet/washroom common for male and female. Another PHC at Shankarapura village in Mandya district is operating from two classrooms of a school. These are some of the findings of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) on the functioning of PHCs in the state.

The KSLSA had conducted random visits to 100 PHCs and one Community Health Centre (CHC) throughout the state on the directions of the high court in relation to a PIL about lack of health facilities at PHCs in rural areas. The report has been submitted before the court. The report said PHCs at police headquarters in Dharwad, Doora village in Mysuru, Bellavi in Tumakuru and Hiremagaluru in Chikkamagaluru are in dilapidated condition and require immediate attention.

One of the important observations in the report is about the absence of duty doctors in most of the PHCs at prime hours. The report also stated that out of 100 PHCs visited, 67 PHCs do not have residential accommodation for the doctors and para-medical staff. The report said that even the staff pattern is not uniform in all the PHCs. As per the IPHS guidelines, Type-A PHC is supposed to have at least 13 staff and Type-B to have at least 14 staff.

Also read: The return of PHCs post-pandemic

The report said that most of the PHCs are not following Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines. Even the services such as availability of OPD and 24 X 7 emergency services, availability of labour room, infrastructure for AYUSH, residential accommodation for doctors and para-medical staff are also not uniformly available.

The members have found that there is no uniformity in providing treatment to Covid-19 affected persons. The report states, out of 100 PHCs only 60 have attended Covid-19 patients. “Considering the gravity of Covid-19 cases that existed during the first and second wave in the state, if all PHCs were equipped to handle Covid-19 cases, it would have certainly reduced the burden on Covid Care Centres and other hospitals,” the report said.

The report recommended that services of MBBS students as interns in PHCs, especially in rural areas, may be encouraged. The report suggested that the state government or Health and Family Welfare Department should conduct a detailed survey of all PHCs in the state for quality assessment.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox