Srinagar: A recent Niti Aayog study has revealed that a district hospital in J&K on an average has only 17 functional beds for one lakh population which is five short of the ideal figure of 22 recommended by the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines of 2012.
The shortfall is making the UT one of the “bottom performers” in the Key Performance Indicator, the NITI Ayog study has revealed.
The study titled 'Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals in India' released by the Niti Aayog on Thursday has also revealed that only 11 of the 19 district hospitals assessed by the Niti Aayog in J&K were found to meet the IPHS guidelines for the positioned strength of doctors.
“While none fulfilled the norms for the staff nurses deployed at the district hospitals. A relatively higher 16 district hospitals fulfilled the IPHS norms for the positioned paramedical staffers,” the study said.
As per the IPHS norms, a district hospital should have at least 22 functional beds for every one lakh population to cater to an ideal 80 percent annual bed occupancy rate.
The NITI Ayog has declared J&K among the worst performers in the KPI for having only 17 functional beds on an average at a district hospital for one lakh population.
The only states behind J&K in the indicator are Maharashtra, Haryana, UP, Telangana, Jharkhand and Bihar. Puducherry with 222 average functional beds at a district hospital per one lakh population has topped the list. Underlying the significance of the functional beds at the district hospitals, the NITI Aayog has stated that knowing the number of beds in proportion to the population helps to understand resource availability of the district hospital in comparison to other districts or states.
“A shortage of available beds can seriously impact how a hospital functions, as it is the primary cause of denial of admission, surgery cancellations, and delays in emergency admissions,” it said.
Besides the shortage of functional beds at the district hospitals in J&K, the NITI Aayog study has also identified shortage of staff at the hospitals especially with regard to staff nurses.
None of the 19 District Hospitals in J&K assessed by the Aayog in the study has met the IPHC norms for staff nurses of 45 per 100 district hospitals, 90 per 200 beds, 135 per 300 and 180 per 400 beds and 225 per 500 beds.
“Only 11 district hospitals in J&K accounting for less than 59 percent fulfilled the norms with regard to positioned doctors,” the NITI Aayog report said.
As per the IPHC norms, a hospital has to have 29 doctors per 100 beds, 34 per 200, 50 per 300, 58 per 400 and 68 per 500 hospital beds. “16 of the 19 assessed hospitals in the UT accounting for a little over 84 percent met the IPHC norms for the paramedical staff strength,” the report said. Pertinently, a total of 731 district hospitals across 37 States and UTs were part of the on-ground data collection and validation exercise during 2018-19. “However, 24 of the hospitals could not be assessed due to security issues and difficult terrain," the Niti Aayog said.