BENGALURU: All major district and taluk hospitals will be certified under National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) to improve quality of health services, announced CM Siddaramaiah in the state budget on Friday. “Public accountability will be enhanced by displaying the number of out-patients, in-patients, child births to the public daily,” he said.
Public health experts expressed concern about the government’s proposal to use NABH standards for accrediting district and taluk hospitals. “It is well known that NABH accreditation is wasteful, escalates cost and is used as a “branding exercise” by the private medical lobby. The government can continue to use the Indian Public Health Standards which is scientific, robust and cost effective,” said Vijaya Kumar from Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali.
Upgradation of 9,000 sub-centres to “wellness” centres as a way to bring down maternal mortality is neither appropriate nor adequate to address the issue of poor maternal care in the state, said experts.
Lack of doctors and gynaecologists at primary health centres, community health centres and taluk hospitals has led to delayed identification of risk factors during pregnancy and non-availability of delivery care among others.
“Instead of 12,000 (1 for 5,000 population), Karnataka has only 7,781 sub-centres. There is scope for employing one mid-level care provider, two Auxiliary Nurse Midwives and one multi-skilled multipurpose worker. This will create 50,000 jobs in disease prevention and health promotion,” said Dr Giridhara R Babu, additional professor, Public Health Foundation of India.