The Health & Family Welfare Department of the State Government has been vested with the responsibility of maintaining and developing the health care system in West Bengal. Public health, sanitation and hospitals are the exclusive responsibilities of the State. State provides financial and managerial support for the basic health care support and infrastructural facilities at the rural level, while the State level super specialty Medical Colleges & Hospitals predominantly provides the ambulatory care services.
The Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Department is organized into a number of Directorates whose work is monitored and coordinated by the H&FW Department at the Secretariat. The Department functions under the overall guidance of the Chief Minister Smt. Mamata Banerjee, who is also holding the charge of this Department. This Department is headed by the Health Secretary who oversees the working of various Directorates and develops various policies which gets implemented after the approval of the Chief Minister and the Minister-in-charge.
The State Health Administration has two arms, the Secretariat and the Directorate of Health Services. The Secretariat is headed by the Additional Chief Secretary/ Principal Secretary who is a senior officer of the Indian Administrative Service assisted by Special, Joint, Deputy and Assistant Secretaries. The Director of Health Services and ex-officio Secretary heads the Directorate and is the Chief Technical Advisor to the State Government on all matters related to medical and public health. He is assisted by a number of Additional, Joint, Deputy and Assistant Directors.
The heath care system has primary health care network, a secondary care system comprising of district and sub-divisional hospitals and tertiary hospitals providing specialty and super specialty care. Each of the eighteen districts is headed by a Chief Medical Officer of Health (C.M.O.H.), assisted by Deputy and Assistant C.M.O.H.s, whose responsibility is to manage the primary health care sector and ensure the effective implementation of the various medical, health and family welfare programmes. The secondary level hospitals are headed by medically trained 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 is responsible for providing services and for monitoring and supervising the primary health centres and health programme implementation.