The Himachal Pradesh government has failed to utilise 75 per cent of funds allocated under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the last four years due to non-existence of 24-hour healthcare facilities, the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has said.
"Seventy five percent of the Rs.119.85 crore received from the central government in 2005-2009 under the NRHM remain unspent so far," said the CAG in a report.
"Low utilisation of funds was due to non-provision of 24-hour healthcare facilities for the rural population. Acute shortage of manpower in all the health institutions has adversely affected the availability of healthcare services," said the CAG.
The overall performance of the NHRM was not very satisfactory. "The review underscored glaring gaps in planning, implementation and monitoring activities," it said.
According to the report, ill-equipped health institutions and shortage of doctors and paramedical staff were the reasons behind the poor implementation of the central government's flagship scheme.
It said the state government had failed to ensure availability of general surgeons, obstetricians, gynaecologists, anaesthetists and paramedical staff, including nurses, at the upgraded first referral units, community health centres and primary health centres.
To overcome the shortage of doctors, the state government has increased the number of seats in two medical colleges in Shimla and Tanda in Kangra district from this session.
The government also has planned to set up medical colleges in Mandi, Hamirpur, Sirmaur and Una districts with private sector participation.