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Delhi down to fifth place in UT health index

The report says Delhi’s composite index score came down to 49.42 on 100 in 2017, a reduction of 0.61 over the base year 2015.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2019 07:47 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Medical negligency,doctors’ strike,doctors on strike
The score is calculated on 23 parameters, including key health issues such as sex ratio, neonatal mortality, immunisation coverage, and data captured, infrastructure and availability of human resources.(Virendra Singh Gosain/ Hindustan Times)

Delhi fell by two positions to be ranked fifth among the seven Union territories on overall healthcare performance, according to the NITI Aayog’s Health Index Report 2019.

The report says Delhi’s composite index score came down to 49.42 on 100 in 2017, a reduction of 0.61 over the base year 2015. The score is calculated on 23 parameters, including key health issues such as sex ratio, neonatal mortality, immunisation coverage, and data captured, infrastructure and availability of human resources.

The drop was owing to better performance by union territories such as Dadra and Nagar Haveli which went up to 56.31 in 2017 from 34.64 in 2015. Chandigarh also improved its performance, with an increase of 11.35 in score, moving it up one position to first rank. Delhi performed the worst in the key inputs category which looks at vacancies in government hospitals and clinics, primary healthcare centres that function 24x7, cardiac care units and hospitals that have been quality assured.

In this domain, Delhi scored just 31.8 points; in comparison Chandigarh at 75.3 points scored the highest.

Delhi reported zero 24x7 primary health centres as against the required number, the report says. “Central government hospitals as well as several tertiary care hospitals are run by various government agencies in Delhi and most people can go to these hospitals round the clock to seek emergency care, so the criterion of a 24*7 primary care centre is a little superfluous in Delhi. In an ideal situation all services should be available in metropolitan cities too so that the hospitals to do not get crowded,” Dr K Srinath Reddy, president, public health foundation of India, said.

The number of cardiac care units also went down to 72.7 (calculated at a rate of 100 per district) from 90.9.

The number of first referral units – a district hospital or a community health centre that can provide round the clock emergency obstetrics and new born care – from 100% of the required number to 82.4% in Delhi, the report adds.

“When we are looking at primary healthcare in Delhi, we need to also see whether the report considers mohalla clinics because it is essentially providing primary care to people in and around Delhi. We also need to look at whether these clinics have sufficient doctors and staff. Nurses and pharmacists had been diverted from bigger Delhi government hospitals for these clinics,” Dr MC Misra, former director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said.

Vacancies in government facilities also contributed to Delhi’s low rank.

Vacancies of staff nurses in primary health centres and community health centres went from 40.8% in 2015 to 46.9% in 2017. Vacancies of medical officers in primary health centres went up from 14.2% in 2015 to 26.3% in 2017. Delhi’s director general of health services Dr Ashok
Rana said he has not received the report yet

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 06:04 IST