Health Survey and Development Committee

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The Health Survey and Development Committee, popularly known as the Bhore Committee was set by the Government of India in 1943 with Sir Joseph Bhore as Chairman to survey the then existing position regarding the health conditions and health organisation in the country and to make recommendations for future development. The Committee which had among its members some of the pioneers of public health, met regularly for two years and submitted in 1946 its famous report which runs in to four volumes.

The Committee put forward, for the first time, comprehensive proposals for the development of a national programme of health services for the country. The Committee observed: "if the nation's health is to be built, the health programme should be developed on a foundation of preventive health work and that such activities should proceed side by side with those concerned with the treatment of patients". Some of the important recommendations of the Bhore Committee were:

  • The integration of preventive and curative services at all administrative levels.
  • The Committee visualised the development of primary health centres in 2 stages (a) As a short term measure, it was proposed that each primary health centre in the rural areas should cater to a population of 40,000 with a secondary health centre to serve as a supervisory, coordinating and referral institution. For each primary health centre two medical officers, four public health nurses, one nurse, four midwives, four trained dais, two sanitary inspectors, two health assistants, one pharmacist and fifteen other Class Four workers were recommended (b) a long term plan (also called the Three Million Plan) of setting up prrimary health units with 75 bedded hospitals for each 10,000 to 20,000 population and secondary units with 650 bedded hospitals, again reorganised around district hospitals with 2500 beds.
  • Major changes in medical education which included three month's training in preventive and social medicine to prepare 'social physicians'.

Although the Bhore Committee recommendations did not form part of a comprehensive plan for national socio-economic development, the Committee's report continues to be a major national document and has provided guidelines for national health planning in India.


  • Park, K. (2002) Park's Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, 17th edition, Banarsidas Bhanot Publishers

Download the Bhore Committee report

Bhore Committee Report (1946) Volume 1

Bhore Committee Report (1946) Volume 2

Bhore Committee Report (1946) Volume 3

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