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BMC budget: Health outlay focuses on preventive and primary care

Updated on: 04 February,2022 07:54 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

At 15 per cent of total budget, BMC allots Rs 7,000 cr to set up 100 new healthcare centres to reduce burden on major and peripheral hospitals

BMC budget: Health outlay focuses on preventive and primary care

In all, 139 types of diagnostic features and tests will be available at affordable rates. File pic

The BMC has allocated 15 per cent of its total budget for health for 2022-23. It will focus on improving primary and preventive healthcare in the city. There are plans to have 100 healthcare centres where 139 types of tests and diagnostic tests like X-ray, CT scan, mammography, etc. will be available at nominal rates. The centres are aimed at reducing the load of patients on major and peripheral hospitals. There are also plans to have up to 200 Shiv Yog centres for yoga across Mumbai.

The Primary Health Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Health Centres and Balasaheb Thackeray clinics will facilitate consultations by specialist and super-specialist doctors from the BMC’s tertiary care hospitals via telemedicine. The BMC has allocated Rs 250 crore for capital expenditure and R150 crore for revenue expenditure for this project.

The health care centres will reduce the load of patients on major and peripheral hospitals. File pic
The health care centres will reduce the load of patients on major and peripheral hospitals. File pic

The country’s richest civic body, has allocated Rs 6,933.75 crore for health, of the total Rs 45,949.2s1 crore budget that was presented by IS Chahal, municipal commissioner on Thursday. According to BMC data, the health budget was 17 per cent of the total budget for 2021-22. While it has reduced it for 2022-23, the BMC has decided to focus on improving the health infrastructure as Mumbai continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the third wave.

‘A healthy allocation’

Dr Suhas Pingle, president of Indian Medical Association-Maharashtra, said BMC’s budget allocation for health, “looks healthy. It is a cause for applause as the BMC is allocating a significant percentage to health and concentrating on preventive and primary healthcare,” he said. Talking about the health care centres that BMC plans to open, Dr Pingle said the city needs these centres to be kept open in the late evenings too and to have staff work in two shifts.

“Our BMC dispensaries and health posts work 9am-4pm. It is not a very convenient time for many people as they have to go to work. If we really want to reduce the work load on tertiary and peripheral hospitals, these centres must be kept open longer,” he said.

Citing the omicron cases, Dr Pingle further said, “Many patients with cold and fever, cough and other minor health issues do not want to take an off from work and visit the clinics. Having the dispensaries and clinics open till late evening will give them the opportunity to seek the right medical advice at.” 

For differently-abled kids

The BMC has specially mention setting up an Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Centre for Differently-abled Special Children (EIC) at Byculla, in the budget. The centre will provide medical facilities and therapies to children who suffer from issues such as physical disability, mental disability, Down’s syndrome, incapacity, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.

Welcoming the BMC’s health budget allocation, Joy Chakraborty, COO, PD Hinduja Hospital said the corporation has done commendable work during the pandemic. He said, “The BMC’s approach towards health, medical education and hospitals is very balanced. It has addressed the current pandemic issues as well as long-term creation of a robust secondary and tertiary healthcare infrastructure. It has also given emphasis on a holistic approach by strengthening medical help with yoga.”

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