New Delhi: The health ministry on Tuesday launched an exercise to create a census of over 20 lakh healthcare professionals and facilities, which is supposed to be completed by September. The resulting repository is expected to not only map the geographical locations of these facilities, but also measure their performance.
Over 20 lakh hospitals, doctors, clinics, diagnostic labs, pharmacies and nursing homes will be mapped under this census on over 1,400 variables, according to the document. This includes variables like infrastructure and performance of the facilities.
The government will begin the exercise in Manipur, Odisha and Rajasthan, while pilot projects have already taken place in states like Sikkim, Rajasthan, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh between December 2017 and January 2018.
The Prime Minister's Office has directed the ministry to create the repository by September, said health secretary Preeti Sudan at the launch on Tuesday.
The exercise is expected to yield "comprehensive" data on all health resources and enhance coordination between the centre and state "for optimization of health resources", according to a document released by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence.
This "National Health Resource Repository" is expected to lead to "evidence based" decision making and allow accessibility of data at all levels of governance, decentralizing decision making at the district and state level, it added.
The programme is "ambitious" and would require continuous updating of the data to ensure the government had real time information, according to health minister JP Nadda.
"Approximately 4,000 trained professionals are religiously working to approach every healthcare establishment for information collection. With ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) as the technology partner, NHRR will adhere to utmost data security," stated the document.
The ministry has also partnered with with the World Health Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this purpose.
Mapping of government healthcare facilities is already completed, while mapping of private facilities is expected to be in progress, now, a senior health ministry official told ET.