NITI Aayog on Thursday, 30 September, released a comprehensive report assessing the best practices in the performance of district hospitals and noted that on average, a district hospital in the country has 24 beds per 1 lakh population.
The report titled 'Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals' was launched in the presence of NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Paul, CEO Amitabh Kant, Additional Secretary Dr Rakesh Sarwal, MoH&FW Additional Secretary Arti Ahuja, WHO Representative to India Dr Roderico Ofrin, QCI Chairman Adil Zainulbhai.
Overall, 75 district hospitals across 24 states and Union Territories emerged as top performers on indicators ranging from bed availability, medical and paramedical staff, core health and diagnostic testing services to outputs like bed occupancy rate and number of surgeries per surgeon.
The study revealed that the Union Territory of Puducherry had the highest number of beds (222) per 1 lakh population, and Bihar had the lowest average of six beds.
However, reacting to the report, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey rejected the findings.
"We don't consider NITI Aayog's report as correct. In the last 15 years, we've worked a lot in the health sector with the development of hospitals, nursing schools in districts," he said on Friday, 1 October.
"The Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) 2012 guidelines recommend district hospitals to maintain at least 22 beds per 1 lakh population (based on district population average of 2001 Census)," the report underlined.
It also further said that district hospitals in India have a range of 1 to 408 beds per 1 lakh population.
CEO Amitabh Kant spoke on the significance of the report saying, "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."
He added that the objective of the exercise is to pave the way for a more informed understanding of healthcare services available in different regions.
According to the report, 15 states and UTs, had less than 22 beds available per 1 lakh people. These included Bihar (6), Jharkhand (9), Telangana (10), Uttar Pradesh (13), Haryana (13), Maharashtra (14), Jammu & Kashmir (17), Assam (18), Andhra Pradesh (18), Punjab (18), Gujarat (19), Rajasthan (19), West Bengal (19), Chhattisgarh (20), and Madhya Pradesh (20).