The Union health ministry has developed Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) and guidelines to improve the quality of healthcare delivery system in the country.
The IPHS are a set of uniform standards to be adopted by all sub-centres, public health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs), sub-district and district hospitals across the country to improve the quality of healthcare delivery in India. These set of guidelines will also be used as the reference point for public healthcare infrastructure planning and up-gradation in all the states and union territories.
According to a report released from the ministry, the IPHS guidelines will help the government to group together the services and facilities provided at different levels into two categories. The categories include ‘Minimum Assured Services’ or Essential Services and ‘Desirable Services’.
As per the guidelines, the ‘Essential Services’ which includes promotive, preventive, curative, referral services and all the national health programmes should be available at all the PHCs facilities across the country. The services which are indicated as ‘Desirable’ are for the purpose that States should aspire to achieve for the particular level of the facility.
“IPHS guidelines are recommendatory in nature and not mandatory. Health being a State subject, the primary responsibility of bringing up facilities to IPHS norms is that of the concerned State government,” informed a source at the Telangana state Health department.
Under National Health Mission, financial support is provided to all states inter-alia to bring up facilities to IPHS norms. the financial support to states is provided through various programme components such as reproductive & child health, immunization & pulse polio programme, family planning, adolescent health, national urban health mission, health system strengthening including human resource, renovation and creation of infrastructure, drugs & supplies, procurement of equipments, quality assurance, rogi kalyan samitis, untied funds, and training of medical and paramedical staff. Funds will also be given to all the state governments through schemes like National Disease Control Programmes, Non Communicable Disease Control Programmes and Infrastructure Maintenance.
In order to strengthen the human resources in delivering healthcare, the union health ministry has added 16204 medical and paramedicals in the State list. These include 145 specialists, 28 GDMOs, 350 Ayush doctors, 1787 staff nurses, 10678 ANMs, 1622 paramedics and 1594 Ayush paramedics.
In addition to this, the IPHS guidelines also stipulate, government of India’s support to fund 752 BLS Ambulances (Dial 108) under NHM, 475 Mobile Medical Units will also be provided financial support.
To improve the infrastructure facilities, the Union health ministry has so far sanctioned 2331 infrastructure works and has also owed to give financial support for creation of 2238 new facilities (122 CHCs, 397 PHCs, and 1719 SCs) and renovation/up-gradation work of 93 facilities across different states. Under NHM the central government will provide Ayush services at 982 health facilities across the country.