Bihar Government's ambitious scheme to run state's rural health centres on public private partnership basis has fallen flat.
The State Health Society has now terminated the contract it had entered with 12 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for providing services in 42 additional primary health centres (APHC), following large-scale complaints against them. The termination will be effective December 1.
Society executive director Ravi Parmar said the contract was cancelled as the wok of these NGOs were not up to the expectations of the Government. "We have now decided to run all the 1243 APHCs in the State on our own," he added.
In 2006 the Government had floated tenders inviting bids from interested groups to run APHCs in Bihar and selected 12 NGOs to provide services at 44 APHCs, including seven additional primary health centres in Patna district. The arrangement was, however, operationalised only at 32 centres, as the NGOs responsible for managing the affairs in the remaining 12 APHCs did not turn up.
As per the conditions of the project contract, the NGOs were to recruit two doctors and three nurses for each centre to provide 24 hours emergency services. They were also to be responsible to run outdoors and family planning programmes.
Against the services rendered by them, the NGOs were to get around Rs 9 lakh per year for each APHC.
Sources said immediately after the scheme was launched, the health society started receiving complaints against the functioning of the centres. Following surprise inspections carried out by the society, it was found that at some centres emergency services were not being provided, while at some others the required number of doctors and paramedic staff was not maintained.
As a result, the number of patients seeking treatment at the centres dwindled and incidence of diseases substantially increased. Fed up with mounting complaints, the society decided to cancel the public-private-partnership arrangement, which it had earlier planned to introduce in all the 1243 APHCs.