Raj Kumar, News Click | 29 Nov 2022
Union Minister Anurag Thakur is talking about free treatment up to Rs 10 lakh in Gujarat but is not telling what is the condition of the hospitals where the treatment is to be done.
In the Gujarat election campaign, BJP is giving huge figures of budget and beneficiaries etc. of various schemes but it is not telling what is the condition of basic facilities and infrastructure at the ground level in rural Gujarat.
On similar lines, various claims and announcements are being made in the field of health. On 27 November 2022, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur talked about “Healthy Gujarat” in a press conference. Said that on the lines of Ayushman Bharat, now for Jan Arogya, treatment up to Rs 10 lakh and not Rs 5 lakh will be provided absolutely free. No one will have to spend money from his own pocket.
Anurag Thakur is talking about free treatment up to Rs 10 lakh but is not telling what is the condition of the hospitals where the treatment is to be done.
BJP has been ruling Gujarat for more than two decades. By law they should be told what the situation is? BJP is claiming in Gujarat that people are getting better treatment under the good governance of BJP. Is this claim true? The question arises what is the truth?
It is noteworthy that better treatment cannot be provided without adequate health infrastructure, staff, nurses, doctors, ANMs, GANMs, laboratories, technicians, machinery, specialists and administrative staff etc. So do sub-centres, PHCs and CHCs of Gujarat have all these facilities? Is the health infrastructure up to standards and adequate? Let us investigate this. The basis of the investigation is the health services available in the rural areas of Gujarat.
First of all let us see what is the status of basic health infrastructure in Gujarat. According to the report of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the year 2021, there are 9,162 sub-centres, 1477 primary health centers and 333 community health centers in Gujarat.
Out of 9,162 sub-centres in Gujarat, only 5,956 sub-centres have government buildings. The remaining 3,206 sub-centres are running in rented buildings or buildings provided by Panchayat or any other organization without rent.
Out of 1,477 primary health centers in Gujarat, only 1,189 centers have government buildings. Similarly, out of 333 community centres, only 293 community centers have their own government building.
The BJP, which has been ruling for more than two decades, has not even been able to build government buildings for all the health centres.
There are 1,560 sub-centres which do not have regular supply of water. There are 1,095 sub-centres which do not have electricity supply.
20% of primary health centers do not have labor rooms for delivery. There are 24% PHCs which do not have even four beds.
89% of primary health centers do not have operation theatres. There is no electricity in two primary health centres. There is no regular water supply in 34.
12% of primary health centers do not have telephones. There are 24% CHCs which do not have X-ray machines.
There are 50% sub-centres which do not have separate toilets for men and women. 13% of primary health centers do not have separate toilets for female patients.
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severe shortage of doctors
There is a requirement of 333 surgeons in community health centres, but only 134 posts are sanctioned out of which 94 posts are lying vacant.
Similarly, 333 obstetricians and gynecologists are required, but 100 posts are sanctioned, out of which 56 posts are vacant.
There is a requirement of 333 physicians in community centers but 67 posts are sanctioned out of which 48 posts are lying vacant.
There is a requirement of 333 pediatricians, but 65 posts are sanctioned out of which 33 posts are lying vacant.
According to the report of the Health Department, Gujarat requires 1,332 specialist doctors like surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, physicians and pediatricians etc. but there are a total of 366 sanctioned posts out of which 231 posts are lying vacant. That means 63% posts are lying vacant.
224 posts of doctors are lying vacant in primary health centres. There is a need for 333 eye surgeons but only 32 posts are sanctioned, out of which 27 posts are lying vacant.
BJP is claiming better treatment of Gujarati people. Think for yourself how much better treatment you can expect from these health centers.
Status of nurses, technicians, ANM and supporting staff
There are 11,618 sanctioned posts of female health workers (ANM) in Gujarat, out of which only 10,023 posts have been recruited and 1,595 posts are lying vacant.
Similarly, in Gujarat there is a requirement of 333 radiographers but only 26 posts are sanctioned out of which 18 posts are lying vacant. That means the entire basic health infrastructure of Gujarat is dependent on only 8 radiographers.
There are 1,810 sanctioned posts of Pharmacist out of which 184 posts are lying vacant.
125 posts of Lab Technician are lying vacant. 511 posts of Staff Nurse are lying vacant.
879 posts of male health workers are lying vacant in the sub-centres of Gujarat. 470 posts of Health Assistant are lying vacant in primary health centres. There is a requirement of 333 anesthetists but only 48 posts are sanctioned, out of which 34 are lying vacant.
The above figures are of rural and basic health infrastructure of Gujarat.
. On which 19,033 villages of Gujarat are dependent. The above mentioned health arrangements are made by the BJP government of Gujarat for more than half of the population of Gujarat i.e. 3,65,0600 villagers.
The availability and quality of basic amenities in rural areas usually remains out of the election discussion. Whereas if we look at it geographically, 96.23% of Gujarat’s area is rural.
The BJP, which presents Gujarat as a model, despite ruling for more than twenty years, does not have even a single health center which it could present as a model.
Note: All figures have been taken from the report of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The figures are as of March 31, 2021.
(The author is an independent journalist and trainer. He also investigates claims and viral messages related to government schemes.)