India has just one doctor for every 1,700 people

Healthcare in India is plagued by the malaise of missing doctors at the government-run health facilities.

Published: 22nd September 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2013 09:33 AM   |  A+A-

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Last month, tragedy struck Bhargavi and Laisan Kanhar in Sambalpur district of Odisha. The tribal couple’s only child Banita who was in Class III fell into a hot egg curry cauldron at her school in Girischandrapur village while she waited for the midday meal.

The eight-year-old suffered severe burns and was rushed to the nearby primary health centre (PHC), where the only doctor was absent. The hospital staff applied first aid and referred her to the VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla. However, there was no ambulance to take her to the hospital 72 km away. She finally reached there in a private vehicle nearly four hours after the accident. The same evening, she was again referred to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, nearly 300 km away. By next morning, Banita was declared dead at the hospital in Cuttack.

The killer void - Vacant posts of doctors in PHCs and CHCs in 2012