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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • Less than one-third of district hospitals in Odisha have only 22 functional beds per lakh people. Among large states, Karnataka performed well to top the list
  • In Odisha, due to bed shortfall, the annual bed occupancy rate in the State has been only 65 per cent in small size district hospitals against the requirement of 90 percent.
  • When it comes to provide 14 core specialised treatments like general medicine to radiology, only 5 percent district hospitals in Odisha provide so.

When the images of patients lying on the floor of the hospitals or pharmacists treating them are a dime a dozen in rural Odisha, here is a reality check of Odisha's top secondary health centres - the district headquarter hospitals.  

In Odisha, mid-sized district hospitals have only 18 functional beds per 1 lakh population, when the Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS) norms demand 22 per lakh population. Similarly, the number of large district hospitals in the State has been 21 per lakh. The national averages in both the categories are at 23 and 33 per lakh population, respectively.

Less than one-third of district hospitals in Odisha have only 22 functional beds per lakh people. Among large states, Karnataka performed well to top the list.

Such a dismal report card of the district hospitals in  Odisha have been brought to the fore by a NITI Aayog report released today.

Less Bed Impact

As per IPHS norms, a district hospital should have at least 22 functional beds per lakh population so as to cater to an overall annual 80 percent bed occupancy rate.

In Odisha, due to bed shortfall, the annual bed occupancy rate in the State has been only 65 per cent in small sized district hospitals against the requirement of 90 percent.

Similarly, it's only 69 percent in mid-sized district hospitals and around 64 percent in large-sized district hospitals in Odisha.

Lack Of Doctors In District Hospitals

Against the norm of having in position 29 doctors per 100 beds, Odisha has around 19 only. Similarly, when 45 nurses per 100 beds are required,  the State has nearly 40 nurses in district hospitals. The deployment of paramedical staff is good in small-sized hospitals, finds the report.

In hospitals having 200 beds, the doctors in position per 100 beds in Odisha have been around 28 against the IPHS norm of 34. Moreover, when the norm calls for deploying 90 nurses, Odisha manages with only 43.

Similarly, shortfall of doctors required and in-position has been high in district hospitals having a bed size of more than 300 but less than or equal to 400 beds. The nurse deployment is poor across the district hospitals, the report reveals.

Overall, as per Niti Report, only 8 district hospitals or a mere 25 percent of such hospitals have in-position doctors as per the IPHS norms. Karnataka tops with 45 percent.

The Niti report rated Balangir and Mayurbhanj DHH good for having exceeded the IPHS norms and occupying number 2 and 3 in midsized hospitals in the country.

The Outcome: In only 2 DHHs, a doctor can attend to 34 patients at the OPD. Only 2 meet the IPHS norm.

Health Care Services

As per the report, only 3 percent of district hospitals in Odisha could provide 14 support services to patients like water supply, dietary services, hospital transport (ambulance services), drugs and pharmacy etc  Odisha fared poorer than states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

Odisha district hospital could provide only 10 support services to patients as against 14 such services.

Ground Reality: A few years back, the episode of Dana Majhi, who tracked the roads to his village by shouldering his wife's corpse, rocked the national headlines. The place was Kalahandi district hospital.

Specialised Treatment In Odisha Hospitals

When it comes to provide 14 core specialised treatments like general medicine to radiology, only 5 percent district hospitals in Odisha provide so. The State lags behind West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu tops the list in providing core specialised services. Only 11 such services available in Odisha DHs.

Balangir DHH is second in mid-sized hospitals in the country. It provides all 14 services.

Diagnostic Services In Odisha

Though the Naveen Patnaik led government claims of providing all diagnostic services in DHHs free of cost, the Niti report pricks the claim.

The report finds that only 21 DHHs across the country provide all diagnostic services. And none from Odisha has made into the list. Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are ahead.

Odisha DHHs offer only 9 diagnostic services to the visiting patients against the requirement of 14.

Blood Banks In Red

While blood donation camps dominate Odisha's political landscape, but when it comes to providing blood to patients, the State fares poor.

As per the Niti report, the blood replacement (means collecting blood from patient's attendants to replace the blood given) rate in Odisha is high at 38 units. Haryana tops the bigger states list, as the blood replacement rate is only 2 units per year.

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