Haryana lags behind in providing the basic health infrastructure even as the institutional deliveries in the state are rising substantially since the inception of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Haryana is the only State in India that has shown a rise in maternal deaths in the last two decades. Early neonatal mortality rate has almost been static and the infant mortality rate has registered a relatively slow decline from 65 to 42 per 1000 live births during the last decade.
On general health fronts, successive surveys have shown that the patients in the state are largely dissatisfied with the doctor's check up and the overall hygiene in government hospitals. A recent district-level households and facility survey-4 (DLHS-4) conducted in 708 villages covering 673 sub-health centres, 246 PHCs, 106 CHCs including block PHC, 21 SDHs and 21 district hospitals in the state reveals an acute shortage of health workers in these centres.
Despite an increase in spending, the existing facilities lack proper utilisation of health services largely due to manpower crisis and improper location, and there is considerable mal distribution of the health facilities because of the improper choice of venues.
Previous low cost health schemes have failed in Haryana
Efforts by the Bhupiner Singh Hooda government to provide low cost health for all through polyclinics have failed in the state due to the inability of the health department to install the required infrastructure to this effect. Today, there is not just an acute shortage of own buildings for the medical centres, there are major infrastructural inadequacies as well in the state. Many centres don't have toilet facilities and at many places toilets are poorly maintained. The buildings too at many places are old and need extensive renovation. Erratic electricity supply is another problem. Running tap water is not available at many places and even disposal of biological waste is a problem area. Besides the breaks in the supply chain system means the essential drug list is not being implemented as there is a perennial shortage of medicines. This also means that laboratory services at the sub centre are almost absent in the state because of the shortage of laboratory chemicals, and consumables such as needles and needle holders and even bandages. Adhocism couples with the lack of fair and transparent system of transfers coupled with irregular promotions of doctors and paramedical staff too has adversely affected the Haryana health scene.
According to Capt. Abhimanyu's vision, the scope of the tasks coupled with shortage of manpower calls to innovative methods to address the inadequacies in the medical system in Haryana.
Medicities are globally being recognised today as the desired centres of excellence
Medicities around the world are getting recognition as premium referral hospitals. They are instrumental in helping health care organizations in the coordination of care and management of patient population. Medicities today are the desired centres of excellence for improving care quality at reduced costs.
In Haryana too, the privately held Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon has been able to achieve success, demonstrating new ways of diagnosing and treating patients through a pool of doctors, scientists and clinical researchers within a common roof. A one-stop medicity indeed can take care of all types of medical needs.
A low cost Medicity in Haryana is the need of the hour
As part of Capt. Abhimanyu's vision for Naya Haryana, affordable and economical medi-cities on these lines needs to be set up, which will be accessible to all. The need of the hour, according to Capt. Abhimanyu's vision, is not five luxury hospitals but to reach out to the common masses in the rural areas as well, where there is even a lack of general awareness on the referral facilities. For example in places like Bhiwani or Bhiwadi, people have to travel all the way to NCR or Ambala for treatment in the absence of medical facilities locally. What we require is a centrally located low cost multiple super specialty medicity in the state, may be at the Hisar-Fatehabad-Sirsa stretch (where the facilities can be availed by majority) that should not just be affordable for all income groups, but also reachable and accessible to them.
The concentration of all facilities will not just take care of the supply chain of medicines and consumables, but would also attract medical and paramedical staff, as it would negate the prospects of short duration transfers. Maintenance of the facilities such as sanitation and waste disposal too be centralised in such a case. Common facilities like oxygen generation, blood banks etc., can be done in common for all and supplied to all the hospitals within the medicity What more is that subsidies and schemes can be introduced and a centralised planning and execution will have a better impact in running and managing the medicity.