A Niti Aayog report has said that on an average, a district hospital in India has 24 beds per 1 lakh population, with Puducherry having the highest average of 222 beds and Bihar the lowest of six. The Aayog in a report titled 'Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals', said 75 district hospitals across 24 states and union territories emerged as top performers on indicators ranging from availability of beds, medical and paramedical staff, core health and diagnostic testing services to outputs.
"For the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), number of functional hospital beds per 100,000 population,it is seen that on an average a district hospital in India has 24 beds per 1 lakh population," the report said.
The Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) 2012 guidelines recommend district hospitals to maintain at least 22 beds per 1 lakh population (based on district population average of 2001 Census).
A total of 707 district hospitals across all states and union territories participated in the performance assessment. The Health Management Information System (HMIS) data for the year 2017–18 has been used as baseline for this exercise.
"Puducherry had the highest average beds in the country, with a district hospital in the UT having an average of 222 beds per 1 lakh population, while Bihar had the lowest average of 6 beds per 1 lakh population," it added.
The report also said a total 101 out of 707 hospitals fulfilled the criteria of having all 14 functional specialties. "Tamil Nadu had the highest proportion of hospitals with all functional specialties, followed by Karnataka, West Bengal and Kerala," it said.
According to the report, district hospitals in India have a range of 1 to 408 beds per 1 lakh population. While 217 district hospitals were found to have at least 22 beds for every 1 lakh population, the report said less populated districts have been seen to fare well in infrastructure-related KPIs.
"The more populated districts in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc, have obtained higher scores in KPIs such as bed occupancy rates and number of surgeries per surgeon," it said.
According to an official statement, the assessment framework covers 10 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the domains of structure and output. The statement said the framework classifies hospitals in three categories: small hospitals (less than or equal to 200 beds), mid-sized hospitals (between 201–300 beds) and large hospitals (more than 300 beds). The report is an outcome of collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO India.
The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, a constituent board of the Quality Council of India, conducted the on-ground data validation. District hospitals are a valuable resource providing secondary level of healthcare, which includes comprehensive preventive, promotive and curative services. Currently, there are more than 800 district hospitals across the country providing crucial services to the population.