Role of AYUSH Doctors in Filling the Gap of Health Workforce – Inequality in Rural India with Special Reference to National Rural Health Mission: A Situational Analysis
Paucity of health workforce in rural India has always been a problem. Lack of interest of modern allopathic graduates in serving the rural poor has worsened the situation little more.
The National Rural Health Mission brought an innovative concept of mainstreaming of AYUSH and revitalization of local health tradition by collocating AYUSH doctors at various rural health facilities such as community health centers and primary health centers.
In this context a study was aimed, based on secondary data, to make a situational analysis of health workforce in rural India and thereby analyzing the status and role of AYUSH Doctors in filling this gap of health workforce inequality.
As on 01/01/2010 there were 61% of Ayurveda, 31.40% of Homoeopathy, 6.50% of Unani, 0.90% of Siddha and 0.20% of Naturopathy doctors serving in India.
AYUSH facilities had been collocated in 240 district hospitals, 1716 community health centers and 8938 primary health centers in 2010. About 39.8% District Hospitals (DH), 38% Community Health Centers (CHC) and 38.2% Primary Health Centers (PHC) had been collocated with AYUSH facilities by 2010. About 30.9 lakhs rural population were being served by district hospitals, 4.3 lakhs of rural population were being served by CHCs and 0.8 lakhs of rural population were being served by PHCs in various states/UTs wherever the corresponding facilities exist.
Equitable distribution of health workforce is of paramount importance in achieving both the horizontal and vertical health equity in rural India which is doable with proper implementation of AYUSH workforce.