| Primary health centres like this one will come up in urban areas of Patna |
Patna district is set to get 36 urban primary health centres by January next year to help people in the areas concerned avail of free treatment, thanks to a new central scheme.
Sources said the process to identify the areas where the urban primary health centres will come up under National Urban Health Mission would start soon.
District civil surgeon Lakhendra Prasad said the initiative taken up by his office is aimed at addressing the health issues of the urban poor and also save unnecessary expenditure of the common people while availing treatments, some of which are provided free of cost at primary health centres. At present, primary health centres are only run in rural areas.
He said: “Under the National Rural Health Mission, primary health centres are opened only in the rural areas. But with this new Centre-sponsored scheme, the urban poor can also avail of benefits like free treatment same as their rural counterparts. The health of financially underprivileged people in the urban areas is often worse than rural people. That is the reason the Union government has decided to open the urban primary health centres under this new scheme.”
Centre-sponsored schemes are implemented in the states with the help of the government. The district civil surgeon has to ensure that the scheme is implemented.
According to the norms of the scheme, there should be one primary health centre for every 50,000 people. According to the 2011 Census, Patna district has around 17 lakh people for which it needs 36 of the urban primary health centres.
“Apart from providing several basic treatments for free, the urban primary health centres would also take up holistic programmes such as immunisation, check-up for pregnant women and control of communicable diseases. Every urban primary health centre would have two doctors, eight auxiliary nurse and midwives (ANMs) and two to three para-medical employees,” said the civil surgeon.
Of the ANMs, five will be for outdoor services and would have to go from door to door to carry out immunisation programme and check pregnant women. The rest will be assigned responsibility for indoor services and responsible for works in the hospital.
Sources, however, said Prasad’s office might face difficulty in acquiring land for constructing the urban primary health centres. He also concurred.
“We might face problem in acquiring land because of the lack of unused land in the city. But we have thought of an alternative arrangement in that case —we will open the urban primary health centres in rented accommodations,” he said.