Arunachal Pradesh: Primary healthcare at a glance

There is still great room for improvement

The health delivery system of Arunachal Pradesh, which is geographically the largest state of North-East India, is yet to reach desired levels.
In Arunachal Pradesh, there are a total of 582 sub-health centres (SCs), 180 health welfare centres (HWCs), 148 public health centres (PHCs) and 61 community health centres (CHCs) in 25 districts of the state spread across an area of 83,743 square kilometers according to health director Dr Emi Rumi. There are 594 GNMs (General Nursing and Midwifery) and 633 ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) against total sanctioned doctors of 743 including 564 GDMOs (General Duty Medical Officers) and 179 specialists (sanctioned 275 posts) stated health service director, Dr Moromor Lego.
Incidentally, India is short of 1.94 million nurses, per an analysis by IndiaSpend. The data was supplied by the Indian Nursing Council (INC) and WHO. According to experts, the acute shortage of nurses can be attributed to low recruitment, migration, attrition and drop-outs (due to poor working conditions). In the public health system, the government has a norm of one nurse per PHC and seven per CHC. By those standards, rural India is short of more than 13,000 nurses, according to data from the rural health statistics 2016. The National Health Profile of 2018, released by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence had highlighted the huge gap in terms of the availability of government allopathic doctors.
The present state government has taken bold steps to create posts including those of specialists to give a new thrust to the health sector of the state
According to the NHP, in Bihar one doctor serves a total population of 28,391 whereas in Delhi, the figure stands at 1: 2,203. Bihar is followed by neighboring Uttar Pradesh where the ratio is 1:19,962. The other states with poor ratios are Jharkhand (18,518), Madhya Pradesh (16,996) Chhattisgarh (15,916) and Karnataka (13,556).
Representative image
Image: Representative image
Delhi tops the list, followed by north eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh (2,417), Manipur (2,358) and Sikkim (2,437). Officials say that the better statistics for Delhi can be attributed to the higher number of private hospitals and doctors. On the other hand according to them the good performance of north eastern states should be attributed to lower population density.
Way Forward:
The need of the hour is attitudinal change by law and policy makers. Fresh doctors also should be ready to serve wherever they are posted. The present state government took bold steps to create posts including posts of specialists to give a new thrust to the health sector of the state. However, the state's health delivery system has miles to go! 'Where there's a will, there's a way', If this proverb is right; there is no harm to hope for health system to improve.

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