People were denied basic minimum healthcare in rural Bengal, says the latest report of CAG. According to the report, placed in the Assembly last week, the objective of taking healthcare to village door-steps remained out of reach because of shortage of health centres as well as medical and paramedical staff. The sub-centres, primary health centres and rural hospitals lack instruments, labour rooms, laboratories, electricity, drinking water and toilets, says CAG. Out of 2,570 sub-centres in four districts, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas, Bankura and Cooch Behar, 655 are functioning in very small spaces. In none of the four test-checked public health centres, delivery cases were taken up for want of the basic facilities. In the four districts, the shortage of rural hospitals ranged between 76 and 95 per cent. The number of primary health centres was short by 32-50 per cent. From 1999 to 2004, only 10 primary health centres were set up in the State.