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Indian J Public Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;54(3):137-44. doi: 10.4103/0019-557X.75736.

Public health manpower: an alternative model.

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  • 1Chairman, Indian Academy of Public Health and Principal, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, India.


The Bhore committee observed that "if nation's health is to be built, the health program should be developed on the foundation of preventive health work and that such activities should proceed side by side with the treatment of patients." The committee defined two categories of workforce: one for the personal care and the other for the public health namely, public health nurses and sanitary inspectors for public health and nurse, midwife, and pharmacist for personal care. Recommendations of successive health committees lead to amalgamation of personal care services and public health services. Single focus programs and amalgamation of different cadre of Grassroots staff lead to dilution of public health services and more focused on different program-based personal care services. To carry out public health services, we need a sufficiently knowledgeable, well-skilled and competent mid-level supervisory public health workforce who can support and strengthen the performance of the existing multipurpose workers. Increased understanding of the influence of different determinants on health and well-being and also scientific progress to combat the environmental and biological effects on health has widened the gap between the actual need of human resources and expanding public health services needs. Keeping in view of the above and meet the challenges, a 3-year course of Bachelor in Public Health is conceived by the Indian Academy of Public Health. Professional responsibilities expected from this new cadre of workforce are also discussed in this article.

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