PHCs without Doctors


Many running Primary Healthcare Centers in Rural Bangalore are equipped with one doctor when the IPHS guideline prescribes at least two.

Bibek Baidya

Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC), such as K. Gollahalli and Konankunte, have only one doctor who treats the whole village.

Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines say every 24/7 PHC should have a minimum of two doctors, apart from a doctor graduated in Ayush (Ayurveda). The doctor in the Gollahali PHC treats 80-85 patients in a day.

R. Muniswamy , the Panchyat member of K.Gollahali said “ There is only one doctor in the PHC who treats all the patients in the village. The other staff in the PHC are technicians and some of them are pharmacists”.

Upon visiting the PHC, The Softcopy found that a total of three staff members were present. One of them, Mr Siddeshwara said, “The doctor, is not available today; we don’t know when she will come.”

According to a report the Indian doctor-patient ratio is 1:10,189 when it should be 1:1000 and, K.Gollahalli has a doctor-patient ratio of 1:1,912. The National Health Mission (NHM) advises that the states should be provided with some resources to healthcare centers with the right amount of health infrastructure and equipped doctors.  

The Health Officer of the BBMP West Zone Dr A S Balasundar says “We are not aware of IPHS guidelines.  Most PHCs have at least one doctor. Due to a lack of doctors, we sometimes assign one doctor to two PHCs.”   

Mr. J. Saravanan, the Principal of PES College of Pharmacy said, “This condition of PHCs prevails everywhere in India and the Government is not at all bothered about it. Proper infrastructure, paramedical facilities and quality of doctors should be improved.”