Kupwara, May 17: Fifteen Health and Wellness Centres in Langate Medical block in Kupwara are operating from private rented accommodations.
In February 2018, the Government of India announced the creation of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by transforming existing Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres as the base pillar of Ayushman Bharat.
Official sources revealed that the Health and Wellness Centres in Langate Medical Block are functioning from rented private accommodations without meeting the basic requirements required such as infrastructure, number of rooms and other facilities that are utmost important to deliver the purpose.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India in National Health Policy in 2017 recommended strengthening the delivery of primary health care, through the establishment of “Health and Wellness Centres” as the platform to deliver comprehensive primary health care. It called for a commitment of two-thirds of the health budget to primary health care.
Official figures revealed that there are a total of 39 Health and Wellness Centres, 6 Public Health Centers (PHC), and 2 New Type Primary Health centers (NTPHC).
“Of 39 Health and Wellness Centres, a total of 15 are functioning from rented accommodations. All privately owned accommodations do not meet the basic criteria required to run a centre,” said the official pleading anonymity.
The official revealed that earlier a total of 17 were functioning from private accommodations. “As of now, 15 Health and Wellness Centres are functioning from private accommodations. Of them, only 1 Centre functional at Mangualpora doesn’t have any major problem,” the official revealed.
The official also revealed that 14 centers functioning from private accommodations do not meet the basic requirements. It includes facilities, infrastructure and other immediate needs. “All of these violate the guidelines and principles of the Health and Wellness Centres. There must be separate rooms, washrooms, and even a Yoga room. But all such required facilities do not exist,” the official said.
The official also said that these are not enough to facilitate the general public. “This is a very congested and vast area. A huge number of people rely on these centers for immediate medical response,” the official said.
The official further said that the main aim of Health and Wellness Centres is bringing healthcare closer to the homes of people covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
Locals have urged the authorities to take note of the problems caused due to unavailability of basic facilities at these Health and Wellness Centres.
Danish Ahmad, a local, said that the Lieutenant Governor’s Administration must take the issue seriously. “This must be treated as important given that it concerns public health. Concrete steps must be taken to give people ease as early as possible,” he said.
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