BENGALURU: It has almost been a year since Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) decided to set up 10 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Bengaluru Urban district, but only three have been functional so far.
The health department is struggling to find buildings to house the PHCs. The health centres in 65 of the 198 wards are administered by Bangalore Urban District Health Office (DHO) . There are at least 26 wards without a single PHC and private facilities are a rarity as these areas are far from the central areas of the city.
Bengaluru Urban District Health Officer Dr N Ramesh Babu said, “In rural areas, it is easier to find land. Generally, in rural areas, the government buys two acres of land and spends about `2.2 crore on the construction of a PHC. In the city, it is difficult to find even one acre. So, they find buildings for rent. Every property owner expects an advance before giving it for rent. But, since the government does not have a system of giving advance, it is finding it difficult even to find buildings.”
The new PHCs were proposed at Bagalagunte, Peenya Industrial area, Rajagopalanagar, Anjanapura, Vasanthapura, Thanisandra, A Narayanapura, Vijanapura, Ramamurthynagar and Hagadur. A Narayanapura, which is one of the three functional PHCs, saw the doctor quit recently.
By conservative estimates, each PHC requires a minimum of 18 staffers if the population of the ward is less about 50,000 or less. This includes five auxiliary nurse midwives, one supervisor, one woman health visitor, one senior health inspector, three male health workers, one pharmacist, one staff nurse, three Group-D workers, one lab technician and one medical officer.
“The primary health centre includes an OT, minor OT, labour ward, children’s ward, pharmacy, doctor’s consultation room, store, six-bedded ward with attached bathroom, lab, medical officer quarters, staff nurse quarters and Group D quarters. In urban PHCs, there is no provision for quarters. Also, they allocate just about a crore or less for the construction, that is if they manage to find land,” added Babu.