To overhaul the primary health care services in the city,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations health department is reworking its strategies. A roundtable discussion,hosted jointly with Observer Research Foundation (ORF),saw the civic body and various health experts from non-government sector working towards a vision document for public health activities.
The corporation for the first time has planned five such conclaves with various stakeholders to arrive at strategies ahead of budget allocation next year.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said,We have identified the overhaul of primary health services as a focus area. We have already categorized our dispensaries into four categories A,B,C,and D. Category A lists those that require little intervention,while those under D need to be demolished and B and C categories comprise dispensaries that require sustained interventions.
Mhaiskar added that BMC authorities were also evaluating areas where dispensaries were required,but missing and the areas where they are superfluous. Other plans include motivational and clinical training for dispensary staff.
We want to create a brand image of our primary health services in slums by upgrading their physical infrastructure and giving them a cleaner and uniform look,perhaps with a new BMC logo, said Mhaiskar.
This will be followed by an upheaval of the maternity homes and primary health posts,according to BMC authorities. Mhaiskar also announced a tie up of the three main teaching hospitals with peripheral hospitals from November 4.
Dr Leela Wadia from the Observer Foundation highlighted the need for transparent private partnership models to be established. Neha Madhiwalla from Centre for studies in Ethics and Rights,also cautioned against the prevalent trend of viewing the private sector as a solution to problems. Representatives from Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action (SNEHA) raised the issue of many pregnant women being denied ante-natal registrations in their first trimesters.
Other representatives stressed on updating the Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act for better regulation of private hospitals. Mhaiskar said the following conclaves would be organised with the private sector,doctors from BMC hospitals,Union members and corporators. Sudheendra Kulkarni,Chairman of the ORF,said the discussion should result in an overhaul of the system,that would set an example for the National Urban Health Mission.