More than two-thirds of Indians live in villages, but the healthcare facilities in these areas are yet to show the progress seen in urban areas. The chances of you going to a rural health facility without a doctor or a health professional is still very high in the country. The analysis of the data available with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare tells us that things are way worse than they used to be 17 years ago, in 2005.
As per Rural Health Statistics, 2014, there is a shortfall of 36346 Sub Health Centres (SCs), 6700 Primary Health Centres (PHCs), and 2350 Community Health Centres (CHCs) against the specified population norm.
As per Rural Health Statistics Bulletin (RHS) 2014, a total of 2225 (8.89%) Primary Health Centres (PHCs) are functioning without doctor, 9825 (39.26%) PHCs without Lab Technician and 5739 (22.94%) PHCs without a pharmacist in the country.
In 2022, nearly 69% of the country’s residents lived in rural areas, along with 67% of all households, whereas a 35.9% of urban population. Considering the differences in the population percentage of rural and urban areas, the healthcare services in rural areas need to be addressed to ensure that rural communities have access to medical facilities and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic also has highlighted many of the challenges faced by rural healthcare systems and why they need attention moving forward.