March 31, 2023

Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has recently released the Rural Health Statistics Report 2021-22, providing a comprehensive overview of the state of rural healthcare infrastructure and human resources in India.
  • The report serves as a vision document in identifying the gaps in the existing healthcare infrastructure and human resources in rural, urban and tribal areas of the country and is an important source of information for citizens.


  1. Health Centers-The RHS estimates as of 31 March, 2022, has revealed that each sub center (SC) catered to an average of 5691 people, each Primary Health Centers (PHC) to 36049 people and each Community Health Centers (CHC) to 164027 people.
    • As per norms, each SC is supposed to cater to a population of 3,000-5,000, each PHC to a population of 20,000-30,000 and each CHC to a population of 80,000-1,20,000.
  2. Urban Health Statistics- There is a vacancy of 8% of doctors, 16.8% of pharmacists, 16.8% of lab technicians and 19.1% of staff nurses at the U-PHCs (Urban PHCs). The population covered by a U-PHC may vary from 50,000 to 75,000. Urban Community Health Centre (U-CHCs) is set up as a referral facility for every 4-5 U-PHCs. The U-CHC caters to a population of 2,50,000 to 5 lakhs.
  3. Rise in Number of Allopathy Doctors-There has been an over 50% rise in the number of allopathy doctors in primary health centers since the launch of the National Rural Health Mission in 2005, from 20,308 in 2005 to 30,640 in 2022.
  4. Shortage of Specialist Doctors- The RHS report also highlights the acute shortage of specialist doctors in the country, with a shortfall of nearly 80% of the required specialists at Community Health Centers (CHCs). The report points out that there is a shortfall of specialist doctors, including surgeons (83.2%), obstetricians and gynecologists (74.2%), physicians (79.1%), and pediatricians (81.6%).Apart from specialist doctors, there is also a shortage of female health workers and auxiliary nursing midwives, with up to 14.4% of these posts lying vacant in PHCs and SCs.

About Rural Health Statistics Report

  • The Rural Health Statistics Report is an annual publication of MoHFW since the year 1992.
  • This report provides data on health infrastructure including manpower up to 31st March of every year.
  • The publication is based on the data uploaded by States/UTs on Health Management Information System (HMIS) Portal and is published only after getting verified by respective States/UTs. The HMIS portal provides periodic reports on the status of the health services performances and Human Resources and Infrastructure services facilities available.
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