Soon after the success of One Rupee Clinics at several railway stations, patients can now avail themselves of the same benefits at primary health centres (PHCs) in association with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. As per mid-day reports, Dr Rahul Ghule, the former medical officer at Arthur Road Jail, who took forward the initiative to help those coming from poor economic conditions, has sought permission from the BMC commissioner for the initiative.
In an attempt to benefit the slum dwellers, “We are eager to start One Rupee Clinic services at health posts and dispensaries under the jurisdiction of the BMC”, read the letter by the doctor.
Notably, the status of public health service is not very commendable in India. Especially in Mumbai, there are around 300 such centres in Mumbai, of which, 50 are in abysmal conditions due to lack of staff and doctor. Ghule said, he wants to utilise this infrastructure by starting the clinics, where patients are administered treatment just at a cost of R1, and would also be able to get diagnostics done at the cheapest price.
“Many doctors don’t like to work in primary health centres located in far-off areas so we have plans to hire doctors only from those specific areas. It would be great if we could use the already constructed structures of BMC,” said Dr Ghule.
BMC provides around Rs 70,000 to doctors to practise in these centres. But these clinics would charge the only Rs 50,000 from the BMC. “For all PHCs, the BMC allocates stipulated sums for doctors. So, they don’t have to allocate extra money for the clinics,” said Dr Ghule.
Speaking about the success of One Rupee Clinics at several railway stations which have been implemented in four places at Dadar, Ghatkopar, Kurla and Vikhroli stations have treated more than 1,000 patients. The railway clinic has tied up with a diagnosis centre to provide blood tests, and body profiling at a discounted rate.
“When any medical emergency occurs, a patient first rushes to a PHC, but due to lack of doctors, they are sent to far-off tertiary hospitals. This delays treatment. It is a good move to strengthen such centres and provide treatment and diagnosis at a cheap price,” said Dr Ravikant Singh, a health activist.