Seven metros to have new govt-run health facilities

Seven metros to have new govt-run health facilities

Within a few months, seven metros including Bangalore and Delhi will have new government-run health clinics, that will offer Out Patient Department (OPD) services between 12 noon and 8 pm so that a large section of daily wage earners and domestic helps can avail health care without losing their earning.

The clinics will come up under the Rs 22,500-crore National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), approved by the Union Cabinet earlier this month. Under NUHM, the government seeks to create a string of primary health care centres and community hospitals in urban slums besides a cadre of trained community health workers.

Officials from state governments and seven large municipal corporations were asked to submit their plans to the health ministry by July for and their early roll-out.

The mission was delayed due to a bureaucratic tug-of-war within the government.  “The urban Primary Health Centres (PHCs) will remain open between 12 noon and 8 pm so that people can come to the out patient department without losing their daily incomes,” Anuradha Gupta, additional secretary in the union health ministry told Deccan Herald after a review meeting with the states.

India's urban poverty increased from 15 per cent in the early 1970s to more than 25 per cent in 2004-05. In addition, there are at least 10 per cent of urban population who do not live in recognised slums but are vulnerable to diseases.

Reliable healthcare facilities are almost non-existant in the slums as a result of which the entire population relies on quacks.

The under-five mortality rate among urban poor is 72.7 per 1000 live births as against the urban average of 51.9. Almost 56 per cent of deliveries take place at home and 59 per cent of women in child bearing age group (15-49) are anaemic as compared to 57 per cent in rural India.

Official statistics suggest almost 60 per cent urban poor children do not receive complete immunisation compared with 58 per cent in rural areas. As much as 47 per cent of under-3 kids in urban slum are under-weight due to poor nutrition status.

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