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CAG's Report Highlights Massive Shortfalls In Bihar's Medical Facilities

The Comptroller and Auditor General's report pointed out that there was a persistent shortage of MBBS doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, lab technicians from 2014 to 2020.

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The latest report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) tabled in front of the Bihar legislature pointed out that the condition of the state's health sector is far from optimum, with a severe shortage in staff and hospital facilities. The performance and compliance report by the government's auditor took into account the health infrastructure of five districts- Patna, Biharsharif, Hajipur, Jehanabad, and Madhepura sections for the period 2014-15 to 2019-20. They found a 52 to 92 per cent shortfall of beds as per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) in the district hospitals.

Lack Of Specialist Doctors, Shortage Of Basic Facilities

The report mentioned that the state health department has failed to increase the strength of hospital beds since 2009, and only two district hospitals would have 24 to 32 per cent of available beds for patients. Moreover, the state has also witnessed a persistent lag in the appointment of MBBS doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, lab technicians from 2014 to 2020, News18 reported. Additionally, the district hospitals could not provide primary medical test facilities in 12 to 15 essential departments like cardiology, gastro, enterology, nephrology, and ENT. Apart from the persistent lack of specialist doctors, there was a shortage of basic infrastructures like buildings, medical equipment and fixtures.

Only 187 Of 1,097 Projects Completed From 2014 To 2020

The diagnosis facility and the management of severe cardiovascular disease, cancer, myocardial infarction and stroke facilities were not available in any of the test-checked district hospitals. About four of the district hospitals also lack the facility to check Japanese encephalitis and Chikungunya. Trauma and isolation wards were not available for infected patients in any of the investigated hospitals. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is available only in Jehanabad district hospital and has a shortage of paramedical staff, nurses, drugs, and medical equipment.

Bihar has 38 districts, and nine of them, including Patna, do not have any blood banks. The Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (BMSICL) could only spend 29 per cent of the available Rs 10,743 crore funds. Moreover, only 187 of the 1,097 projects undertaken by the government were completed between 2014 to 2020.

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