At least 76 per cent households in the city do not have medical insurance and a family had to spend 9.1 per cent of its total annual income on healthcare in 2017-18, a survey conducted by Praja Foundation and Hansa Research in 20,078 households in Mumbai has shown.
The White Paper on Health, released by NGO Praja Foundation on Thursday, highlights the shortage of doctors in Mumbai’s government hospitals and dispensaries. The Right To Information data shows that across 174 dispensaries, of the 581 posts of doctors and paramedical staff sanctioned, 122 (or 20 per cent) are vacant.
Of the 1,739 medical posts sanctioned in 26 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run hospitals, 39 per cent (682) posts are vacant.
The gap has also been attributed to lack of dispensaries to cater to Mumbai’s population. According to the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), there should be one dispensary for one person in every 15,000 population. In Mumbai, on an average, there is one dispensary per 66,894 people. “There is need for 860 dispensaries and we currently have 186,” said Milind Mhaske, the project director at Praja.
The Hansa research conducted in 2018 has found that in certain wards, the available health facilities were scarce compared to the population. In M-East ward (Govandi) for instance, where a population of 8.07 lakh resides, there are only nine dispensaries and one government hospital – Govandi Shatabdi. The ward witnessed a spillover of patients to Rajawadi hospital in Ghatkopar due to the crunch. Inwards A, B, C and D, comprising south Mumbai, the number of hospitals and dispensaries is more than the required number, according to NUHM.