Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday declared the launch of Deendayal Clinics in slum pockets of urban and semi-urban areas of the state. Declared in the current year’s budget, the scheme was put in abeyance for more than six months owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patel visited Ramdev Pir no Tekro in Vadaj area of Ahmedabad city — one of the biggest slums of Gujarat with a population of more than 30,000 — where more than five such clinics would be set up, along with senior officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and local elected representatives.
Patel said that instructions have been given to all the municipal corporations to identify pockets where such clinics can be started. The scheme was declared in the state budget of 2020-21, with a provision of Rs 80 crore.
A statement in the budget speech of Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, said that to enhance the scope of Urban Health Centres, “I announce the scheme of starting one Urban Health Centre each for a population of 10,000. Various health care services will be provided at this centre through an MBBS or AYUSH doctor.”
Addressing media persons after his visit to Ramadev Pir no Tekro, Patel said, “We could not start it then because the entire health machinery was busy in dealing with Covid-19. But now with Covid-19 infection going down, we have decided to start it,” Patel added.
“Such clinics will be set up in slum pockets of municipal corporations and municipalities with more than 1 lakh population. We have instructed the municipal commissioners to identify the areas in their respective cities where such clinics can be set up while giving priority to densely populated areas,” Patel added.
Patel said that there are many slums where ambulance or rickshaws cannot enter. People from such areas avoid visiting a doctor during the initial phase of an illness. They would go to a private doctor or a government clinic only after the illness worsens. These clinics are an attempt to provide health facility to such people at their doorstep, he added.
Patel said that the state government realised the positive results of providing health services at people’s doorstep while operating Dhanvantari Raths during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An official release stated that these clinics will be started at the building of a primary school, an anganwadi center or a temporarily built place. An MBBS or AYUSH doctor will hold an OPD in these areas between 4 pm and 9 pm every day. These doctors will be free to continue their private practice during the remaining hours. Those with serious illnesses will be referred for specialty or super specialty treatment under MAA Yojana, Maa Vatsalya Yojana and Pradhanma-ntri Jan Arogya Yojana, it added.
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