THE CHANDIGARH health department is discussing a proposal to run city dispensaries twice a day, instead of present single timing, a senior Chandigarh Administration official said on Thursday. UT Health Secretary Anurag Aggarwal maintains that the administration is discussing if the dispensaries can provide services to the general public twice a day.
“At present, there is one specific timing for the dispensaries in the city. We are discussing to run them in two timing system. Nothing has been finalised so far, but there is a proposal about it and we are seeing what can be done about it,” Aggarwal told Chandigarh Newsline.
Chandigarh health department sources said that there is a growing demand that the timing of the dispensaries in the city be extended. In Chandigarh there are over two dozen dispensaries located in various areas, including peripheral areas. In winters, a dispensary remains open between 9 am and 3 pm.
A senior health official said that the timing of the dispensaries, if extended, can play an important role in improving the primary health services. “We mostly see during the evening, patients land up in hospitals like GMSH and GMCH for treatment of small illnesses like headache because dispensaries are not open after 3 pm. If the timings are extended, the rush will obviously come down,” said the official.
As per the official figures, the number of total patients who visited dispensaries in 2013-14 was 3,47,885, which increased to 10,27,988 in 2015-16. In 2014-15, the total number of patients who visited the OPDs of dispensaries was 97,5063.
The UT Administration has already indicated that they will now focus on improving the functioning of dispensaries in the city. Few days ago, the UT Administrator approved that the doctors who have been shifted to Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, along with the dispensaries will be transferred by the Secretary, Health-cum-Home Secretary, Chandigarh, instead of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.