‘District hospitals pivotal for healthier communities but face gaps’

New Delhi, Sep 30 : District hospitals have the pivotal role in creating healthier communities, providing a wide spectrum of healthcare services that caters to all individuals of the population, NITI Aayog's Health Member Dr V.K.

Paul said on Thursday.

However, despite their crucial role in providing advanced secondary care, "there are unfortunately gaps, be it shortage of human resources, capacities, utilisation and service uptake" he said, as the NITI Aayog released a performance assessment report of district hospitals in India, titled 'Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals'.

The report is an outcome of collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO India, while the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, under the Quality Council of India, conducted the on-ground data validation.

Paul said: "To make 'health for all' a reality and to ensure that every citizen has access to safe and reliable health services, these gaps must be closed.

The district hospital performance assessment exercise undertaken by NITI Aayog is an important step in that direction.'

CEO Amitabh Kant, who was also present on the occasion, said: "This report is the first-ever performance assessment of district hospitals undertaken across the country.

It marks a major shift in the healthcare delivery system towards data-driven governance and takes us even closer to communities and people availing health services.

The entire objective of the exercise is to pave the way for a more informed understanding of healthcare services available in different regions."

A total of 707 district hospitals across all states and Union Territories participated in the performance assessment, whose framework covers 10 key performance indicators across the domains of structure and output.

The Health Management Information System (HMIS) data for the year 2017-18 has been used as baseline for this exercise.

The framework classifies hospitals in three categories: small (less than or equal to 200 beds), mid-sized (between 201-300 beds), and large (more than 300 beds).

The report documents some of the best practices of the top performing district hospitals in each of the hospital categories across the 10 indicators.

Overall, 75 district hospitals across 24 states and Union Territories emerged as top performers on indicators ranging from availability of beds, medical and paramedical staff, core health and diagnostic testing services to outputs such as bed occupancy rate and number of surgeries per surgeon.

The report also highlights some key issues faced by the health system and provides some sustainable solutions to strengthen the condition of district hospitals in the country, primarily involving improving data reporting in HMIS, and encouraging such performance assessment exercises to bring about greater accountability for health care services in district hospitals.



Source: IANS