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Ministry report exposes Nagaland’s ailing rural healthcare

health and family welfare

Shortage of 77 specialist doctors at CHCs, 8 doctors at PHCs

Dimapur, May 7: Nagaland has a shortfall of 77 specialist doctors like surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists, physicians, and paediatricians at Community Health Centres (CHC) in the State’s rural areas, according to the Rural Health Statistics (RHS) of 2020-21 released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
According to the Ministry report, the required number of specialist doctors at CHCs in Nagaland was 84 against which only 7 were ‘in position’–resulting in a shortfall of 77 specialist doctors.
Again, there is a shortage of 8 doctors at Primary Health Centres (PHC) in rural Nagaland.
Against the required number of 131 doctors at PHCs, only 123 are in position now, it showed.
Indicating the poor state of healthcare delivery in the State’ rural areas, the Ministry’s report showed that except for nursing staff and female health workers/auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), there was shortage of staff in all other categories.
At PHCs and CHCs across rural Nagaland, there is a shortage of 28 pharmacists.
The number of required pharmacists is 152, out of which only 124 posts have been filled.
For Laboratory Technicians at PHCs and CHCs, the required number is 152 but there are only 141 of them–resulting in a shortfall of 11 pharmacists.
As for Radiographers at CHCs, the shortage is by 16; against 21 required, only 5 have been employed.
In contrast, there is an excess in the number of nursing staff at PHCs and CHCs as well as female health workers/ANM at Sub-Centres and PHCs.
There are 398 nursing staff members against the required number of 278.
Similarly, the number of female health worker/ANM across rural Nagaland is 1008 against the required number of 558.
As per the RHS (2020-21), the number of ANMs rose from 900 in March 2020 to 1008 in March 2021.
While the number of doctors rose from 120 to 123 in the same period, the figure for specialist doctors declined from 9 to 7.
The number of pharmacists also reduced from 132 to 124, and lab technicians from 143 to 141.
Radiographers increased from 3 to 5 while the number of nursing staff rose from 316 to 398.
As per the Ministry data, there are 427 Sub-Centres, 131 PHCs and 21 CHCs functioning in Nagaland.
(Page News Service)