BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government may be taking credit for achieving lowest MMR and IMR which is below the national average, shockingly, around 95 per cent (pc) Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the State do not have operation theatre and 55 pc are without labour room.
As per the latest Rural Health Statistics (RHS), of 1,305 PHCs, only 584 operate with labour room, 59 with operation theatre and 28 with four beds. As many as 105 PHCs are functioning without any doctor.
The Community Health Centres (CHCs) to lack basic infrastructure. Of 377 CHCs, 351 are functioning without stabilisation units for a new born. While only 60 CHCs have 30 beds and 77 have functional X-ray machines, 65 do not have functional operation theatre.
Despite the tall claim of massive augmentation of infrastructure, 172 PHCs run sans electric supply and 221 without a water supply. While six do not have an all-weather road, 237 functions without telephone and 69 sans computer.The statistics indicate that shortage of medical and paramedical staff in most of the hospitals across the State has crippled health services. Odisha has 6,688 sub-centres, 1,305 PHCs, 377 CHCs and 79 other hospitals having PHC level facilities.
Surprisingly, not a single hospital in the State functions as per the norms of Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), which recommends that a PHC should have at least 13 staff and a CHC be manned by 46.Though the number of CHCs increased from 231 to 377 in the last one decade, augmentation of human resources was not up to the mark. There is a shortfall of 302 surgeons, 312 paediatricians, 317 physicians, 223 obstetricians and gynaecologists besides 2,533 nursing staff in both PHCs and CHCs. At least 353 posts of medical officers at PHCs are lying vacant apart from a shortfall of 1,154 specialists in the CHCs.
While as per norms, a PHC should have four doctors, not a single PHC here functions with four doctors. Only three have three doctors, 708 have two and 489 run with one doctor. Surprisingly, 1,268 PHCs do not have laboratory technician and 147 functions without a pharmacist.The RHS summarised that 2,469 sub-centres function from rented buildings, 2,840 operate without regular water supply, 3,041 (45.5 per cent) sans power supply and 182 do not have all-weather road connectivity.
Health Secretary Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda said the State Government has initiated several measures to reduce vacancies and strengthen infrastructure in periphery hospitals. "While two new medical colleges became operational this year, five more are under construction. The process is underway to appoint 557 doctors soon. We have introduced place-based incentive scheme and a new exit policy to retain doctors," he said.
On infrastructure, Dr Meherda said while `20 crore has been placed for sanitation in hospitals in this year's Budget, water is supplied through overhead tanks and generators are being provided for electricity in health centres where the facilities are unavailable.