Healthcare shortfalls worsen in rural Telangana: Report

Hyderabad: The primary healthcare system in rural Telangana is in dire straits as the shortfall in primary health centres (PHCs) increased to 19 per cent in 2021-22, from 12 per cent in 2020-21, as per the Rural Health Statistics 2021-22 report released last week by the Union health ministry.

Against the backdrop of a pregnant woman and her newborn both dying due to being made to visit five hospitals for child delivery in Nagarkurnool district, the increased shortfall in PHCs, specialist doctors, and medical staff, among other aspects, is concerning.

As per the Centre’s report, there is an 84 per cent shortfall of community health centres (CHCs) and a 3 per cent shortfall of subcentres in rural areas, as of July 1, 2022.

While the national average shortfalls were 31 per cent for PHCs, 36 per cent for CHCs and 25 per cent for subcentres, the situation in Telangana worsened from 2020-21, when there were 12 per cent and 53 per cent shortfalls in PHCs and CHCs, respectively.

As of March 31, 2022, 714 PHCs in the state had a 13 per cent shortfall of lab technicians and an 8.5 per cent shortfall of pharmacists.

According to the report, CHCs have a 12.5 per cent shortfall of specialist doctors, with the situation exacerbated when concerning anaesthetists (57 per cent shortfall) and paediatricians (21 per cent shortfall). Also, against a requirement for 28 eye surgeons, there are none across Telangana’s CHCs.

Telangana has a significant tribal area, which needs health centres as they are usually in remote locations. In such critical areas of the state, there is a 30 per cent shortfall of PHCs, a 76.5 per cent shortfall of CHCs and a 32 per cent shortfall of subcentres.

As per the report, one positive aspect of the state’s health centres is that all PHCs in rural Telangana have labour rooms, an operation theatre, at least four beds, a telephone and a computer.


Shortfall of health centres in rural areas in TS:

PHCs – 19%

CHCs – 84%

SCs – 3%

Shortfall of specialists at CHCs:

Total specialists – 12.5%

Anaesthetists – 57%

Paediatricians – 21%

Shortfall in tribal areas:

PHCs – 30%

CHCs – 76.5%

Subcentres – 32%

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