Mehrauli PHC better than the rest

Mehrauli PHC better than the rest

Unlike the government-run hospitals, most of the MCD-run primary health centers are not overcrowded.

The Mehrauli PHC located inside an old tomb is one of them. It caters to basic health needs of residents coming from underprivileged sections. A few patients, found sitting outside the doctor’s office, generally come to get treatment for their minor ailments like stomach ache, cold and cough and viral fever.

The PHC has two general physicians, two nurses and a couple of other staff attendants who do all the work without much hassle. The consultation fee is Rs 5. This centre has witnessed a decrease in the number of patients by almost 50 per cent since November, say staff members.

They attribute this decrease to the change of season. “During the three months from November to January, we get less number of patients. Otherwise we get around 50-60 and even more every day during summer and monsoon,” said the Director of Mehrauli PHC. The reason for a steep decrease in the number of patients, according to the doctor, is that during winters, since the weather is dry, there is very less humidity in the air. Thus the bacteria which thrive on humidity have less chances of survival.

The facility has a very laid-back feel to it, “Yes, the work here is laid-back. Even on rush days, the staff is adequate. But a female doctor is required,” said a nurse. According to local residents, they usually do not go to the PHC even in cases of minor ailments as they feel that doctors mostly refer them to hospitals. So, instead of wasting their time at the PHC’s, they choose to go to the nearest government hospital.

“The very idea of the PHC is that it should provide basic health facilities. Thus, there is no need for any major upgradation. The only problem we find is when there is an outbreak of a disease, like dengue and malaria, as just two doctor are not enough,” said one of the general physicians. According to the doctor, a new building for the health care facility is being constructed nearby and will take approximately two years to finish.

The staff feels that the PHC building is decently maintained and instead of spending money on a new building, few more facilities, which come handy during emergencies, can be brought.

“We have an injection room. There are few PHCs which have facilities, including an X-ray machine, blood testing facilities and ECG. Some upgradation can make the government hospitals less crowded,” said the nurse.

The Mehruali PHC is among the better ones as far as the facilities and infrastructure is concerned. The doctor said that the PHCs in Kanjawala and Fatehpur Beri in the outskirts of Delhi are in deplorable conditions and need major revamping. However, he feels that their renovation will take time as they fall in rural areas. The doctors are also of the view that as there is enough space in the Mehrauli PHC premises, instead of just making it a dispensary, the space could be easily made useful for awareness camps on tuberculosis, polio and tobacco-related diseases.

“Many patients who come here have tobacco addiction. Women too, like men, have high habits of chewing tobacco (gutka). Sometimes, the ailments they come for has its root in chewing gutka. We, as doctors, make them aware about its effects but people come in small numbers here. Camps will attract more people and it is for their benefit.

Though we organise camps in nearby villages, these camps can be easily organised here too,” said another doctor. The centre has adequate supply of medicines which are sold on nominal rates. “Their is always a line outside the shop,” said a worker from the nearby chemist shop, while the residents feel that the chemist shop should be opened for all and not limited to only patients.

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