Bhore Committee was set up by Government of India in 1943. It was a health survey taken by a development committee to assess health condition of India. The development committee worked under Sir Joseph William Bhore, who acted as the chairman of committee. The committee consisted of pioneers in the healthcare field who met frequently for two years and submitted their report in 1946.
The major aim of the committee was to survey the then existing position regarding the health conditions and health organisation in the country and to make recommendations for future development, in order to improve public health system in India. It was guided by lofty principals as ‘nobody should be denied access to health services for his inability to pay' and that the focus should be on rural areas.
Reports were four volumes long. It laid out the proposal for a national program of health services in India and also stressed the importance of preventive care in addition to curative treatment.
It said,"If it was possible to evaluate the loss, which this country annually suffers through the avoidable waste of valuable human material and the lowering of human efficiency through malnutrition and preventable morbidity, we feel that the result would be so startling that the whole country would be aroused and would not rest until a radical change had been brought about."
Some of the important recommendations of the Bhore Committee were:
1.Integration of preventive and curative services of all administrative levels.
2. Development of Primary Health Centres in 2 stages :
- a. Short-term measure – one primary health centre as suggested for a population of 40,000. Each PHC was to be manned by 2 doctors, one nurse, four public health nurses, four midwives, four trained dais, two sanitary inspectors, two health assistants, one pharmacist and fifteen other class IV employees. Secondary health centrewas also envisaged to provide support to PHC, and to coordinate and supervise their functioning.
- b. A long-term programme (also called the 3 million plan) of setting up primary health units with 75 – bedded hospitals for each 10,000 to 20,000 population andsecondary units with 650 – bedded hospital, again regionalised around district hospitals with 2500 beds.
3. Major changes in medical education which includes 3 - month training in preventive and social medicine to prepare “social physicians”.
The proposal of the committee was accepted in 1952 by the government of newly independent India. Though most of the recommendations of the committee were not implemented at the time, the committee was a trigger to the reforms that followed.
The committee was instrumental in bringing about the public health reforms related to peripheral health centres in India. Primary Health Centres were built across the nation to provide integrated promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services to entire urban as well as rural population, as an integral component of wider community development programme. In 1952, India was the first country to launch a national programme emphasizing family planning to stabilize the population at a level consistent with the requirement of national economy.
- Goel, Sonu. "From Bhore Committee to National Rural Health Mission: A Critical Review". The Internet Journal of Health. 7: 1.
- Deepak Kaul (2014). "Indian medical research: perception and paradox". Indian Academy of Neurosciences. 21 (4): 128. doi:10.5214/ans.0972.7531.210402. PMC . PMID 25452671.