First Time, Plan to Map Every Doctor, Health Facility in the Country
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
For the first time, the government will map health facilities, doctors and specialists available in all districts of the country. The health geo-mapping project has already been completed in four districts chosen as a pilot. When the entire country is covered, the project will cost around Rs 100 crore as per initial estimates drawn up by the Ministry of Health.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering the project.
Lack of authentic data on healthcare resources has long been one of the biggest impediments to health planning in India. It is universally acknowledged that doctors and health facilities are far more easily available in urban than in rural areas but there has never been an attempt in the past to quantify the gap in density and to plan accordingly. Even when states come to present their programme implementation plans in the National Health Mission, demands are made in broad contours of requirement rather than a specific assessment of needs based on population, disease profile etc. Assessments of requirement have been known to change with successive health secretaries.
The four districts that have been covered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Dungarpur (Rajasthan) and Dimapur (Nagaland). Both government and private health facilities will be mapped, as will be availability and distribution of chemists.
In the first phase, the government is looking at covering eight states though the names are yet to be finalised. Sources said UP and Bihar, where health indicators are among the worst, would be taken up on a priority.
- Health Care