VIJAYAWADA: The Health department is planning to close down Mukhyamantri Aarogya Kendralu (MAK centres) in urban areas. The expert committee constituted by the State government has expressed displeasure over operating these centres by spending a huge amount of money every month. The contract with private partners Apollo Hospitals and Dhanush Infotech is going to end this month and the State government, sources said, may not renew it.
The previous government had launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Aarogya Kendram’ in place of Urban Health Centres across the State in August 2017. Currently, there are about 212 MAK centres, which are being operated with the support of Apollo Hospitals and Dhanush Infotech. The main aim behind these centres is to provide services of specialist doctors to patents through video call.
Each MAK centre has about 6-8 staff — a centre in-charge, two ANMs, a lab technician, an IT executive, a pharmacist and helpers. These centres provide treatment to patients as per the instructions of super specialist doctors of Apollo Hospitals through video call.
A patient visiting the MAK centre consults the ANM first and then the doctor. Based on the ailment of the patient, the doctor posts details on the digital board. After going through the details, the doctors of Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad will respond and make a video call to the centre.
However, most of the times, the patients were made to wait for an hour or two. Some times, they were asked to visit the centre again if the doctors are busy. Due to internet connectivity problems, a large number of calls do not connect properly. As most of the patients are from poor background and uneducated, they fail to communicate properly to the doctors through video call. Currently each of these centres has almost 80-100 visitors a day.
The officials of Health department also think that the contract is too expensive. Before setting up MAK centres, the government used to spend `1.2 lakh per month for each Urban Health Centre. But as per the contract, the government is paying `4.2 lakh every month to the contractor. On top of that, the medicines in the centre, electricity, building space and internet facility are being provided by the State government.
According to sources, the expert committee also expressed displease over the working of these centres and they are unlikely to give a go ahead to extend the contract. The committee will submit its report to the government this month and based on it, a decision would be taken by the State government.
Mukhyamantri Aarogya Kendralu
August 2017: The previous TDP govt launches MAK centres in place of Urban Health Centres across State
212 MAK centres working across the State now
8-100: Visitors a day
Apollo hospitals and Dhanush Infotech are the partners
Reasons for closure
Expensive: Panel constituted by State govt has expressed displeasure over operating these centres by spending huge amount of money every month
Govt pays `4.2 lakh every month for the contractor (Govt used to spend `1.2 lakh per month for each Urban Health Centre)
Medicines at the centre, electricity, building space and internet facility are being provided by the govt
Patients are made to wait for an hour or two
Due to internet connectivity problems, a large number of calls do not connect properly
Patents fail to communicate properly to doctors through video call