The Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi informed that in  rural areas, primary health care services are being provided through a network of 145272 Sub-centres (SCs), 22370 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and 4045 Community Health Centres (CHCs) as on March 2007.

A SC has one Female Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) and one Male Health Worker with a provision of one LHV for six such Sub-Centres. A total 161445 Health Worker (Female)/ANMs are in position in SCs & PHCs in rural areas. A total 62881 Health Worker (Male) are in position in SCs in rural areas.

PHC has a Medical Officer and 14 other staff. A total 15546 Health Worker (Female)/LHVs, 20234 Health Assistants (Male) and 22608 doctors are in position in PHCs in rural areas.

CHC plans to have Four Medical specialists i.e. Surgeon, Physician, Gynecologist and Pediatrician supported by 21 paramedical and other staff. 5117 Specialists, 1740 radiographers are in position in CHCs. A total of 17919 Pharmacists, 12101 Lab. Technicians and 29776 Nurse Midwife/Staff Nurses are in position at PHCs and CHCs. Residential facilities for the doctors and other staff are also available in some health premises.

Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), funds are released to States/UTs Governments for upgradation/ strengthening/ establishment of new Centres including construction of residential building for doctors and other staff. The States/UTs Governments are however required to incorporate their requirement in their annual NRHM Programme Implementation Plans (PIP).

A Task Group constituted under the National Rural Health Mission under the Chairmanship of Director General of Health Services has recommended the following measures to ensure the services of doctors in rural areas:

Increase in the age of retirement of doctors to 65 years preferably with posting near hometown;

Decentralization of recruitment at district level;

Walk-in-interview and contractual appointment of doctors;

Enhancing the salary for posting in rural areas by one-third; and

A few of the above initiatives have also been taken by various State/UT Governments .