K’shetra village PHC tops in quality standards

Vishal Joshi

The Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Kirmach village in Kurukshetra district has emerged as a role model for other health institutions. Located around 15 km from Kurukshetra, it was adjudged the best rural PHC after it got a score of 94.03 under the National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS).

A visit to the Kirmach village hospital changes the general impression about government-run health institutions. With courteous staff at the reception counter and a hygienic compound, the PHC wins over any visitor to the hospital. Besides two physicians and a dentist, the PHC has a homoeopathic doctor to cater to the medical needs of more than 10 villages in the vicinity of Kirmach village.

Patient tickets come with a time-motion study that digitally tracks the time spent by a patient from registration at the reception to getting checked by the doctor and getting medicines.

Dr Pradeep Kumar, Additional Senior Medical Officer (SMO) and incharge of the PHC, says that it was not easy to set high standards. He admits that earlier this award-winning PHC did not have good sanitation and other facilities. It was ranked low with 60 points.

Dr Pradeep gives credit to the subordinate staff for the NQAS certification that was awarded to the PHC in October last year. As an incentive, the PHC will get additional Rs 3 lakh for three years.

“When I was transferred to Kirmach village in October 2017, I did not know much about the NQAS. But the district team led by Dr Shailender Kharma, which is managing the hospital's standards, sensitized me. I discussed the idea with the PHC staff and they pledged to work for improving conditions here,” says the doctor.

“The creation and maintenance of quality health care, hygiene and service do not happen overnight. We jointly worked for it for many months,” he adds.

Biomedical waste management and documentation, according to him, are among the strength areas of the PHC. “Legible prescriptions, patient's history, administration of medicines and treatment practices, everything is clearly documented in the PHC. These records are monitored regularly,” he adds.

The hospital staff gives equal credit to the local panchayat for helping them in achieving improved standards. “We have a breastfeeding room for the convenience of mothers, an isolation ward and three beds each in male and female wards. Our PHC also topped in ‘Kayakalp’ for maintaining sanitation. We are planning to convert the PHC into a green institution by shifting to solar power,” he says.

Sunder Singh, a patient and also a panch, says that committed doctors and subordinate staff have converted the health centre into a institution of excellence.