Pune : Taking inspiration from the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Mohalla Clinic concept in Delhi, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to provide OPD (Out Patient Department) facilities in the form of similar clinics in four zones of the city on an experimental basis.
At present four such ‘Wasti Clinics’ , neighborhood clinic,have been started and the number is likely to 50 by September.
There are 15 PMC ward offices, divided into four zones. The health department has identified one location each in every zone to set up clinics. For the first four clinics, PMC will depute its own doctors and staff. After these are successful, 50 other clinics will be set up in different parts of the city, for running which the civic body will take help from private doctors.
Pune municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar said that PMC also planned to start 17 diagnostics centers in its 17 maternity homes, where citizens will get free tests like blood urine, CT scan etc.
Neighborhood clinics will be generally frequented by people for minor medical problems for which hospitalisation & use of high end medical equipments is unnecessary. Thus ease the pressure on large government hospitals. Ultimately, the hospitals will be able to improve their quality of healthcare with the easing of pressure on them.
The common people, particularly the elderly will find it very convenient to visit neighborhood clinics for their regular medical care.
A neighborhood clinic would be a great boon for immunisation of children. No parent likes to travel long distances with children for minor medical care.
Since the government has proposed to use Information Technology for booking of appointments with the Doctor at these clinics, there would be minimal crowd at the clinics.
Establishment of large number of neighborhood clinics will create new employment opportunities for Doctors, paramedics & housekeeping staff. However, getting adequate qualified/quality staff may be a hindrance.
Since accessibility to free medical care will improve, we can expect the health and average life expectancy of people to improve.