Healthcare in West Bengal features a universal health care system run by the state government. The Constitution of India charges every state with "raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties". Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of the Government of West Bengal is responsible for healthcare administration in the state.

Healthcare infrastructure

The health care infrastructure is divided into three tiers — the primary health-care network, a secondary care system comprising district and sub-divisional hospitals and tertiary hospitals providing specialty and super specialty care.[1] A Chief Medical Officer of Health (C.M.O.H.) heads each of the eighteen districts. The responsibility of CMOH is to manage the primary health care sector and ensure the effective implementation of the various medical, health and family welfare programmes.[1] The secondary level hospitals (sub-divisional and district hospitals) are headed by superintendents who report to the C.M.O.H. and are accountable to a hospital management committee. At the block level, the Block Medical Officer of Health (BMOH) is responsible for providing services and for monitoring and supervising the primary health centres and health programme implementation.[1]

West Bengal Health Service provides the health care professionals for the statewide infrastructure, while Medical Education Service employs teachers at the training institutions.[1]

The number and beds sanctioned in different types of healthcare setup, as published by the government of West Bengal, are in the following table.[2] In this table, hospitals under other departments of state government include government undertaking organisations, and rural hospitals include those ones which were upgraded from block primary health centre.

Type of institution number Number of beds sanctioned[2]
Hospitals/health centers under department of Health and Family Welfare
Medical College Hospital 13 12,641
District hospital 15 8,204
Subdivisional hospital 45 9,901
State general hospital 33 4,899
Other hospital 33 6,504
Rural hospital 269 8,820
Block Primary health centre 79 1,086
Primary health centre 909 6,592
Subcentre 10,356 0
Hospitals under other departments of state government 72 6,212
Hospitals under local body 31 1,080
Hospitals under government of India 58 7,126
Hospitals under NGO/private 2,013 34,281
Total 13,925 1,07,346

Healthcare indices

Following table illustrates some health care indicators of the state, compared to the national indicator, and comparison with some major states that fared better than West Bengal (states with population 20 millions or more as of 2011 national census were considered as major states for this table).[3] These data are based on of Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India.

Indicator (with year)[3] West Bengal India Rank in India Major states better than West Bengal
Birth rate, 2010 16.8 22.1 4

Kerala (14.8), Tamil Nadu (15.9), Punjab(16.6)

Death rate, 2010 6.0 7.2 1 none
Infant mortality rate, 2010 31 47 4 Kerala (13), Tamil Nadu (24), Maharashtra (28)
Total fertility rate, 2009 1.9 2.6 2 Kerala (1.7), Tamil Nadu (1.7)
Neonatal mortality rate, 2009 25 34 4 Kerala (7), Tamil Nadu (18), Maharashtra (24)
Under 5 mortality rate, 2009 40 64 4 Kerala (14), Tamil Nadu (33), Maharashtra (36)
Maternal mortality ratio, 2007–2009 145 212 5 Kerala (81), Tamil Nadu (97), Maharashtra (104), Andhra Pradesh (134)

Healthcare issues


  1. ^ a b c d "Governance". Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Table VI.1 Medical Institutions in West Bengal as on 30.11.2011" (PDF). Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal. 30 November 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Basic Health Indicators" (PDF). Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2012.