For the residents of the two main towns in Patan district, availing medical services would have been a major concern during the lockdown, if the “mohalla clinics” were not set up. The district administration had started 13 urban clinics — 10 in Patan and three in Sidhpur — in March end.
District Development Officer (DDO) of Patan D K Parekh said that the urban clinics have been started to cater to the medical needs of the people of the two towns, especially the poor, during lockdown imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the major reasons to start the urban clinics was to make medical services available at the doorstep of people at a time when most private clinics were shut. Secondly, it could also prove effective in discovering any suspected COVID-19 patients with symptoms like cough and cold,” said Parekh.
Till Monday, as many as 12,234 patients were examined at the “mohalla clinics”, as they are popularly known among the local residents.
Patan district has, so far, reported 15 positive cases and one COVID-19 death.
Parekh said that the urban clinics were functioning from government and private school premises in the two towns while hiring private doctors at a monthly salary of Rs 30,000 for examining patients between 5 pm and 9 pm. “We got a lot of support from private doctors in this effort. Some medical interns at Dharpur medical college also gave their services along with some doctors of Indian Medical Association at these urban clinics,” said Parekh.
The DDO added that a few voluntary organizations also provided their help to ensure that the patients maintain social distance while visiting the urban clinics.
After functioning for more than 20 days, the administration plans to discontinue the urban clinics from next month.
The private clinics have gradually started functioning and the rush of people at these urban clinics has also been reduced, said Parekh. In the initial days, they were getting around 150-200 patients everyday, the DDA said adding that the number has gone down to around 30 per day.
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