During the last 40 years there has been tremendous increase in the public
health facilities, both preventive and curative. In 1989, the public
health institutions numbered 899, including a state hospital,12 district
hospitals,189 primary health centres, besides a number of allopathic and
Ayurvedic dispensaries and specialized medical institutions. To meet the
shortage of doctors, a medical college also started functioning in 1967,
which now has post-graduate teaching facilities in some branches.
Death rate has come down by 70 percent due to various
public health measures. The incidence of venereal disease, which
was about 17 percent in 1951, came down to 2 percent in 1989. Malaria
and small pox have been eradicated. The T.B. control programme has been
a great success. People have taken enthusiastically to the family planning
programme and its interesting feature is that women have out-numbered
men in its acceptance.
As against nearly 200 Educational Institutions, mostly
Primary Schools in 1948, the state had 9,112 educational institutions
including 38 colleges, 932 higher secondary and high schools, 1,068 middle
schools and 7,074 primary schools in 1989. The enrollment in these
institutions was about 1,122,000 or about 26 percent of the entire state
population. The literacy percentage which was only 6.7 percent in
1951 and 31.32 percent in 1971, rose to 42.48 percent in 1989 and in 1991
it was 63.54 percent. The state got its first university in 1971.Then
two more universities, one for Agriculture and the other for Horticulture
and Forestry have come up at Palampur and Solan respectively.
Drinking water supply poses a big problem in Himachal.
In the absence of wells due to high altitude terrain, drinking water is
mainly obtained from springs and streams. Being unhygienic, it contributes
to pollutions and spread of disease like hill dysentery. The village being
sparsely populated and distantly located, the arrangement of clean drinking
water poses the problem of high costs. In 1948, excepting four towns,
no other habitation in the Himachal had piped water supply. By 1989, drinking
water through pipes was made available in about 15,000 villages covering
about 75 percent of the population.