One hospital bed per 2,046 people in India: Govt. report

Rohit Shishodia

Against the WHO guideline of a hospital bed for every 500 people, Bihar has a hospital bed per more than eight thousand people.

The healthcare services in India are running against the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO) in terms of patient: hospital bed ratio. According to the National Health Profile (NHP) report, 2017, published by India’s health ministry online, there is only one hospital bed available per two thousand people in government hospitals. According to WHO guidelines, there should be one bed available for 500 people.

The situation is even more adverse for people who need treatment in northern states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The report reveals that there is only one bed available for more than eight thousand people in Bihar, while in Uttar Pradesh, there is one bed for more than three thousand people.

In Haryana, there is one bed available for around 3,427 people, in Arunachal Pradesh, there is one bed for 3,819 people, in Jharkhand one bed for 3,079 people and in Delhi there is one bed for 824 people.

The states which fare well and fulfill the WHO guidelines are Sikkim, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry.

The abysmal lack of hospital beds against the number of patients in India is quite worrisome. It may take years to improve the ratio between the availability of beds and patients unless concrete efforts are made to improve the infrastructure.

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