The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plan to contain health ‘chaos’

Calcutta, Nov. 18: The government is planning to breathe life into nearly 100 idle health centres run by the municipal corporation in the city to ease the pressure on hospitals.

A senior health official said: “We are examining the scope of activating the corporation-run health centres to stem the chaotic situation in the hospitals.”

“Once it (the plan) receives the minister’s (health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra) concurrence, we will have it placed before the cabinet,” said the official who did not want to be named as the plans were still not final.

Health secretary Asim Barman is believed to have discussed the plan with Mishra.

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee said he was keen on lending a hand to the government to create better health infrastructure. “We will provide a few hundred doctors and micro-level infrastructure. The remaining resources will have to come from the government, if it wants to run the centres as full-fledged referral clinics,” Mukherjee said today.

The mayor may take a proposal to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee next week. The corporation is likely to offer the services of 92 ward health units, 60 malaria clinics, 10 X-ray units, 4 microscope centres for TB patients, 83 drug distribution centres, 4 maternity homes and more than 150 doctors.

Health officials believe that the doors of the medical college hospitals should be shut on minor cases to ensure better delivery of specialised treatment. “If the medical colleges deal with accidental emergency and only referral cases in their outdoor and indoor speciality clinics, the unnecessary load of patients on the premium health facilities will be cut down by more than 60 per cent,” said a senior health official.

“Unnecessary rush means chaos. People with complaints of common cold, simple diarrhoea, ulcer, gas, acid, sprain, muscle pain and fever come to the medical college hospitals daily but these ailments can be cured by general practitioners,” said a doctor at the Calcutta Medical College Hospital.

In the proposed system, medical college doors will be open only to patients referred by the health centres. These referral centres will have round-the-clock emergency units, some beds, X-ray and ECG units.

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