Mumbai: Citizens prefer government hospitals to public dispensaries

Mumbai: Even as there are 193 public dispensaries across Mumbai, majority of the citizens prefer visiting government-run hospitals on OPD basis, which are only 39 in number in the city.

This comes in the form of the data provided by Praja Foundation, which shows that in 2018 alone, 76 per cent of the total population visited public hospitals, while a mere 24 per cent preferred getting treated in dispensaries.

The fresh data was released by Praja Foundation on Tuesday in its annual report on public health.

According to the NGO, this 76 per cent of the population in the state, prefer hospitals over dispensaries due to various reasons ranging from lack of facilities provided there, less manpower as compared to the public hospitals.

Milind Mhaske, Director at Praja Foundation, said there is only one dispensary for more than one lakh population in four wards of the city. Out of the 20,000 households surveyed, 49% of the total respondents accessed private healthcare.

“While the city area has one public dispensary for 40,598 people, in western and eastern suburbs there is one public dispensary for 86,360 and 72,263 respectively,” Mhaske said.

While the National Urban Health Mission prescribe one public dispensary per 15,000 population. None of the administrative wards in Mumbai meets this requirement.

“We are starting the evening timings in 15 dispensaries from Wednesday, September 18. The motive is mainly to be more citizen-friendly about the facilities and accessibility.

The evening dispensaries will focus mainly on making the process digital and less paperwork as well as getting specialized doctors,” said Amey Ghole, chairman of BMC's health committee.

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