Study indicates failing healthcare outcomes in India for mothers and newborns

There is a considerable depreciation in the performance of India’s healthcare in accordance to the accepted standards despite the functioning of 60% of primary health centres (PHCs) and 94% of community health centres (CHCs) working towards the provision of round the clock services for delivery of infants. According to the outcomes from a new study published on June 5 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the overall capacity of CHCs as well as PHCs for basic care services from the start of labour to the delivery of the baby is comparatively lower than the basic IPHS standards. The IPHS (Indian Public Health Standards) are considered as a benchmark for evaluation of the availability and quality of services provide to pregnant women in rural and urban locations in India.

The authors of the study investigated 4,810 CHCs and 8,536 PHCs and the findings indicated that almost 5% of the CHCs and 30% of the PHCs were found lacking in terms of provision of intrapartum care. PHCs are accounted as the entry points for accessing medical services and could also serve as referral points for CHCs and were found to be lacking behind CHCs in majority of areas. On the other hand, the area where service availability was not an issue the quality of services was a profound issue. It was observed that 59.7% of rural and 62.7% of urban PHCs while 92.7% of rural CHCs and 94.9% of urban CHCs facilitated round the clock intrapartum care.

The study further informed that the discrepancies were explicit observed in availability of obstetric services in emergency and competent human resources and the facilities with limited capacity were profoundly concentrated in the highly impoverished states. It was observed that Uttar Pradesh was characterized by the highest volume of facilities with poor capacity among the EAG (Empowered Action Group) states. The lack of quality is perceived as the most possible reason for limited impact of facility-based births on improvement in health outcomes for mothers and newborns.

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