Bengaluru: The COVID19 crisis has thrown the Health Infrastructure of Karanataka State into the limelight. While its healthcare system is adequate and it finds itself in the middle of the ladder of the Health care system in India, a lot more needs to be done. But the issue is a lack of funds caused by alternate and emergent priorities of both the Central and State Governments. But now, the central government has decided to support the ailing public infrastructure of the state through the smart city project. Under the proposal, through the smart city project, the state smart city project mission decided to take up the public health facility facelift works.
On Sunday smart city mission director Charulata Somal and state health commissioner, Pankaj Kumar Pandey held a meeting and decided to work together. At the time of the meeting, both the officers discussed various projects implemented under the smart city initiative already and how this can be taken forward.
This new proposal comes as a big relief to the state public health system.
The Health Infrasture in the State
Karnataka follows a three-tier rural public health infrastructure– primary, secondary, and tertiary. At the primary level of the health system, the state has Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centres, and Community Health Centres. At the secondary level there are the District Hospitals. At the tertiary level the health system in Karnataka has medical colleges and specialty hospitals. According to the available data, Karnataka has a network of more than 2,346 Primary Health Centres, 326 Community Health Centres, and 8,871 Sub-centres. There are 176 Government hospitals in the state that provide free treatment to the people.
Healthcare challenges for Karnataka Govt.
Karnataka has achieved much in the healthcare sector over the past decades. Karnataka’s health indicators are in the middle range in comparison with the other 29 states.
Population (as per Census 2011) (in crores): 6.11
Infant Mortality Rate (as per SRS of 2013): 31
Maternal Mortality Rate (as per SRS of 2010-2012): 144
Fertility Rate (as per SRS of 2012): 1.9
Crude Birth Rate (as per SRS of 2013): 18.3
Crude Death Rate (as per SRS of 2013): 7
Natural Growth Rate (as per SRS of 2013): 11.3
A study entitled 'Status and Infrastructure of the Health Sector in Karnataka' by Siddu V H, Assistant Professor, Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Dharwad; Keshava Murthy K D, Lecturer, St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore; and R Revankar, Research Assistant, Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Dharwad, says that Karnataka is closer to the average of India in case of health status and health facilities, but compared to the states like Kerala, it stands very low. The most striking problem, related to the health infrastructure and health status arises out of the regional imbalance. The state spends just 2% of its NSDP on Health and this is not enough,
Access and equity in healthcare remain a challenge for the Karnataka government. The state faces issues of uneven access to quality public health facilities by the rural population. There is poor utilization of the primary healthcare system in certain rural areas of the state. If the state government manages to overcome the healthcare challenges existing in the state, Karnataka can be one of the top states in the country in this regard.
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