NITI Aayog Launches Report on Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals

New Delhi : NITI Aayog today released a performance assessment report of district hospitals in India, titled Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals. 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.

The report was launched in the presence of NITI Aayog Member Dr V.K. Paul, CEO Amitabh Kant, Additional Secretary Dr Rakesh Sarwal, MoH&FW Additional Secretary Arti Ahuja, WHO Representative to India Dr Roderico Ofrin, QCI Chairman Adil Zainulbhai.

NITI Aayog Member Dr V.K. Paul in the Foreword of the report emphasized on the pivotal role of district hospitals ‘in creating healthier communities, providing a wide spectrum of healthcare services that caters to all individuals of the population. Despite their crucial role in providing advanced secondary care, there are unfortunately gaps, be it shortage of human resources, capacities, utilization and service uptake’. He said, ‘To make “health for all” a reality and to ensure that every citizen has access to safe and reliable health services, these gaps must be closed. The district hospital performance assessment exercise undertaken by NITI Aayog is an important step in that direction.’

CEO Shri Amitabh Kant said, ‘This report is the first-ever performance assessment of district hospitals undertaken across the country. It marks a major shift in the healthcare delivery system towards data-driven governance and takes us even closer to communities and people availing health services. The entire objective of the exercise is to pave the way for a more informed understanding of healthcare services available in different regions.’

The assessment framework covers 10 Key Performance Indicators across the domains of Structure and Output. 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. 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 documents some of the best practices of the top performing district hospitals in each of the hospital categories across the 10 indicators.

Overall, 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 such as bed occupancy rate and number of surgeries per surgeon.

The report also highlights some key issues faced by the health system and provides some sustainable solutions to strengthen the condition of district hospitals in the country, primarily involving improving data reporting in HMIS, and encouraging such performance assessment exercises to bring about greater accountability for health care services in district hospitals.

This report can serve as a foundation for a roadmap of action for developing upgraded and improved district hospitals in the country.