Eight years after the Kutumb Arogya Yojna was started for city police personnel,the Mumbai police is revisiting the healthcare scheme for improvement in the facilities provided to police constables in case of illness.
The Mumbai Police Kutumb Arogya Yojna was started in 2005 with a view to providing basic healthcare facilities to police constables. Under the scheme,constables are treated and operated upon for free in 21 hospitals across the city and the Mumbai police bears the expenses. These hospitals include Bombay Hospital in south Mumbai and the Fortis Hospital in Mulund.
We are currently reviewing the list of empanelled hospitals under this scheme, said Hemant Nagrale,joint commissioner of police (administration),Mumbai.
The scheme deals with 27 common ailments like hypertension,diabetes and blood pressure as well as five major surgeries like kidney transplant,cancer treatment,bypass surgery,angiography and angioplasty. The Mumbai police spends around Rs 35 crore on the scheme every year.
Besides,the Mumbai police also holds regular health check-ups and awareness camps at zonal or police station levels in collaboration with local NGOs and doctors .
De-addiction is also an issue. Nagrale admits many policemen are addicted to alcohol or tobacco. Officials say there had never been a proper study to find out how many personnel were addicted to such vices,simply because police personnel,or anyone else for that matter,would not like their addictions to be a matter of record. The main reasons behind many ailments among policemen are long working hours,irregular eating habits and the stress arising from it. This situation is compounded during general alerts like during festive seasons,when policemen have to be on bandobast duty for long hours without a break. They eat whatever is available at the location where they are deployed,and drink water that is not always safe. Not every police constable can afford to buy a bottle of mineral water every time he gets thirsty, said Nagrale.
Police constables said the continuous standing or walking around takes a toll on their spine and many of them develop problems of the spinal cord,while erratic eating causes abdominal and gastric problems.
The Mumbai police had recently launched its Operation Arogya,a new programme aimed at providing better healthcare for police personnel in Mumbai,but due to some problems in its working,the programme has been suspended pending an internal probe,officials said.