Seventeen urban primary health centres in Kolkata, and 59 across Bengal, will now function as polyclinics with evening OPDs and diagnostic facilities.
There will be one of these Kolkata Municipal Corporation clinics each in 16 boroughs, with two in Borough VI – one in Mirza Galib Street and the other in Raja Subhodh Mullick Square. There will be three such clinics under the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation area, too.
According to sources, there will be specialists in the polyclinics who will help run the outdoor clinics for medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics thrice a week and eye clinics twice a week. Recruitment of specialists to run these polyclinics will start soon.
The identified urban primary health centres will provide specialist services and will be a hub for providing tele-consultation services, an official said. “Evening OPDs should be encouraged,” the official said. The official said that the timings of these polyclinics would be decided as per the need of the community, as in many areas it had been felt that evening clinic can have a better footfall. He said that the names of the specialists and their timings at the polyclinics are to be properly displayed so that local people can know about the new service facilities that are on offer.
The diagnostic clinics will have haematology analyser, Elisa machine and X-ray machines. The urban development department had been asked to visit the sites for early functioning of the polyclinics and diagnostics centres. The official said that there should also be tie-ups with nearby hospitals for the purpose of referring critical patients.
The state health department on Monday gave its nod to run 77 polyclinics and 102 diagnostic centres at the urban health centres. The missive issued by Swasthya Bhavan on Monday gave nod to State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) to operate 59 polyclinics and 85 diagnostic centres and asked KMC to operate 17 polyclinics and diagnostic centres in the existing health centres.
A senior health official of KMC welcomed the move and said that community-based clinics are very important during this pandemic and diagnostic clinics will help people. He said that right now the health units of KMC function as fever clinics and provide treatments for diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and also diabetes, other than babies and their mothers.
But if these clinics are properly utilised by converting them into diagnostic centres and polyclinics at a low-cost, more services can be provided because government hospitals are overcrowded, the doctor said. He added that there are already plans to set up ECG machines and X rays in some of the KMC clinics.