The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has requested private landowners to provide some place for them to start Hinduhridayasamrat Balasaheb Thackeray (HBT) health centers across the city. The deadline for starting the centers has been extended for the third time now. Earlier, the centers were to be started on Independence Day and then it was postponed to the second week of September. But now, the authorities have given assurance to start them in October. Officials attributed the delay to the lack of procurement of places for which they have formed a three-member committee to request private landowners.
“Currently we are looking for a space in ready construction to start the HBT clinics, but so far we have not received any. We require 600-800 square feet of space for each clinic which will be on a rent basis,” said an officer.
The HBT clinic will handle common ailments, but if the problem is severe and needs the expertise of a gynaecology or pediatrician, MD medicine, dermatologist, cardiologist, etc., then patients will be referred to the nearest HBT polyclinic.
The polyclinics are currently looking to hire ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, gynaecologists and obstetricians, general physicians, orthopedics and dermatologists along with physiotherapists.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Sanjeev Kumar said the clinics will start in two phases, of which 50 will start in slum areas in the first phase by next month, while the remaining 100 will start in the second phase. “The clinics in slum areas will have state-of-the-art facilities which will cater to many needy patients. Moreover, it will reduce the pressure on the civic-run hospitals,” he said.
According to reports, as many as 139 medical tests will be provided free at these centers to be run by the BMC. The polyclinics will work from 7 am to 10 pm in two shifts. The dispensaries will provide treatment for general ailments, while specialised consultations such as ENT, ophthalmology, pediatrics and gynaecology, will be provided at the polyclinics called Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray polyclinics.
“Of the total clinics, 227 will be set up in the eastern and western suburbs of the city and 34 will be polyclinics. The clinics will be operated in two formats- porta cabin and concrete cabin,” the state government said in a statement.
There will be one clinic per 25-30,000 people. Each clinic will have an MBBS doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, and multi-purpose workers. The polyclinic will cater to a population of 2.5-3 lakh.