20 doctors per 10,000 population, rising rates of non communicable diseases, finds Chandigarh’s vision document
Chandigarh has a total of 20.39 doctors, and around 27.04 nursing staff per 10,000 population, the vision document drafted and finalised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) team revealed.
The vision document — titled Vision for Future Ready Chandigarh 2030 and Beyond — also states that with lifestyle changes, there is a rising prevelance of non-communicable and food-borne diseases, making people resistant to functional antibiotics.
It further states that with regard to health, nutrition and well being, among the major challenges which the city is likely to face in the coming years is that the aging population will require targeted health interventions.
The document also specified that out of pocket expenditure was rising.
Among the major weaknesses highlighted in the document, it was clearly specified that since government hospitals of the UT — especially PGI, GMCH-32, and GMSH 16 — are the catchment areas for health services for four states, “it leads to overburdening of the facilities and there was an increased need of supporting infrastructure for the patient families, attendants and care takers, including support services for patients who come for OPD consultations only.”
It also mentioned that provisioning of basic healthcare (dental care, ENT, palliative care) needs to be further strengthened and also there is “limited presence of natural therapies in the city.”
“The city’s strengths stand in the fact that there are very good hospitals and professionally qualified doctors. Also there is a strong public health system with robust infrastructure serving a large number of people not only from the city but also from other states and abroad. People in general have confidence in availing health services from government hospitals,” the document said.
The current healthcare status
Chandigarh has many highly-specialised hospitals — like PGI, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 — besides having a sub-divisional hospital, urban community health centres, 29 health and wellness centres, five Ayush centres and civil dispensaries. There are 11 multi and super speciality private hospitals, 19 private nursing homes and over 220 private health practitioners/doctors. The vision document states that there are 20.39 doctors and 27.04 nursing staff per 10,000 population. The average daily OPD and IPD footfall in hospitals is around 6112 and 257, respectively.
The vision document mentions, “We are looking to build beyond just medical infrastructure in Chandigarh. We are looking to develop a model city of people who enjoy good health, well-being, nourishment and quality lifestyle, in collaboration with academic and research institutes. We envision to develop Chandigarh as a hub for healthcare & well-being and to become an epicentre of health tourism in the region.”
The document says that the areas that have been identified are that of good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep, which are the foundations of healthy living and can reduce obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems, and many other non-communicable diseases.
The document also suggests having yoga parks in different sectors,for people to stay fit. It also specified that citizens should be encouraged to do physical exercises including cycling and take part in periodic competitions, sports contests.
Long term actions
As part of the long term actions suggested in the report, it was specified that Chandigarh may have a policy to mandate that all restaurants to have a healthy menu option without the high sugar-high salt items.
It was also said that the city be promoted as a hub for health care and health infrastructure be augmented with affordable short term stay facilities like guesthouse, and hotels with hygienic food for people coming from other states/countries for availing health services.
The document also specified that two to three more tertiary care centres are required to reduce the excessive load on the emergency in existing institutes and that private hospitals/health institutes to collaborate for knowledge hub creation.
As far as opportunities go, the document states, the city can explore positioning medical tourism in the city. It also said that the UT needs to strengthen super specialised healthcare services like organ transplant etc and that the integrated and universal health coverage with focus on primary healthcare.
It also talks of developing model state of art palliative care services with specialised care.