HYDERABAD: As the patients walk out happy from each of the 74 basti dawakhanas across the city, those working to cure their illnesses have been suffering in silence for the last three months. The persons employed at these dawakhanas, under the flagship programme of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao aimed at providing free primary health care services, include the medical officers, attendants and supporting staff. And none of this staff has been paid their salaries for the last 3 months.
A medical officer on the condition of anonymity revealed that a written representation has been submitted to office of Principal Secretary Santhi Kumari. However, there is at least two weeks more before they can expect respite.“We have been assured that the matter will be looked into as soon as possible. However, the principal secretary is currently out of the country for the next two weeks.”
Dr J Venkat, Principal Medical Health Officer, on the other hand has assured that the salaries will credited in a couple of days. “Because of some online technical glitch the salaries weren’t credited. But it is being looked into immediately,” he saidBasti Dawakhanas, or neighbourhood clinics, are supposed to cater to 10,000 people in the area it has been constructed in. They are also connected to the nearest Urban Public Healthcare Centres.
The clinics have been modelled after Delhi’s successful ‘Mohalla Clinics’ and provides a range of services like basic medical consultation and lab diagnostics, drugs and contraceptive dispensing, treatment of acute simple illness and immunisation services. The next phase of this scheme will comprise similar basti dawakhanas in five other cities in the state, including, Greater Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Khammam and Ramagundam.
However, Dr Ayesha, a medical officer at Tolichowki Basti Dawakhana, also mentioned that the dawakhana was in dire need of basic medication. “We do not even get water and electricity throughout the day. And to top it off, our salaries have not been credited since January, from when we were recruited.”
“We can cater to more patients, and usually expect 70-80 patients everyday. However many have to be sent back as all the medicines are not available,” an attendant said.
Modelled after Delhi’s Mohalla clinics
Three months back, Basti Dawakhanas came into existence with the aim of catering 10,000 people, each. They were modelled after Delhi’s ‘Mohalla Clinics’ and provide basic consultation, medicine and contraceptive dispensing, treatment of simple illnesses and immunisation services