Updated on: Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 11:18 PM IST

Mumbai: Praja Foundation urges BMC corporators to strengthen city's healthcare system

Representative Image | (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)

Representative Image | (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)


Praja Foundation jointly with Mumbai First, a non-governmental organization, has urged all the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporators to strengthen the healthcare system of the city by implementing the recommendations made by them. Moreover, they have also asked them to produce a strong and compelling action plan for public health.

Yogesh Mishra, Research and Data Head, Praja Foundation said, during the pandemic public health institutions were overburdened beyond their limits. Despite that, available sanctioned personnel in the overall BMC Health facilities shows a 31% vacancy till 2020. Thus, the manifesto recommends the incorporation of an outcome-based budget to ensure targeted development and increase in access to the primary healthcare sector of the city.

“In terms of health policies and their implementation, Mumbai needs to put in extra effort to meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for many communicable and non-communicable diseases. Since the SDG 2030 was adopted by India in 2015, we only have nine more years to reach the targets. The SDG target for communicable diseases like Tuberculosis is 0 TB cases/1 lakh population but, there were 298 TB cases/1 lakh population reported in 2020. Similarly, despite SDG Goals’ target to end all epidemics and other communicable diseases by 2030, 15,623 malaria cases, 9,072 dengue cases and 2,941 HIV/AIDS cases were detected in 2020-21,” added Mishra.

Dr Neville Mehta, CEO of Mumbai First said, this manifesto is an attempt to provide a list of expert suggestions that can help improve the quality of healthcare services and plug the various gaps identified to make Mumbai a safe city for its citizens. So they urged all parties to support these initiatives, as a part of their official manifesto for Mumbai.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis in the city and the current public health infrastructure is not sufficient to help its citizens navigate through these issues. The manifesto highlights the need for city-wide morbidity data or disease-burden data for mental health issues, amongst other things. This data will help us understand the scope and scale of the problem and allocate resources for it,” he said.

Key points of recommendations:

Along with the implementation of Clinical Establishment Act there is a need to maintain a real-time database on disease prevalence in Mumbai, including data from private charitable hospitals.

Need to strengthen the Health Management Information System (HMIS) by ensuring effective and regular collection of accurate and real-time health data.

An outcome-based budget should be incorporated to ensure a targeted development in the overall healthcare sector of the city.

As per National Building Code norm (one dispensary for 15,000 population), Mumbai requires 858 government dispensaries. However, the city only has 199 government dispensaries.

44% and 45% vacancies in medical and para-medical staff respectively as of 2020. Filling these vacant posts is crucial, as it will strengthen the healthcare management in situations like COVID.

Out of the 187 public dispensaries, only 15 dispensaries were accessible for 14 hours. Others were accessible only for 5-8 hours.

Need to conduct a 3rd party audit of the process & functioning of health centers and ERs and undertake targeted interventions.

Focus should be given on adolescent health, gender and sexuality counseling and mental health component for school children.

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Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 07:00 AM IST