Health and wellness centres to provide quality healthcare

Health and wellness centres to provide quality healthcareA front view of health and wellness centre building at Narasingarayunipet village in Chittoor rural mandal
Highlights

Fulfilling the guidelines of Ayushman Bharat, all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) were being converted into ‘Health and Wellness centres’ which will be followed by sub-centres too.

Tirupati: Fulfilling the guidelines of Ayushman Bharat, all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) were being converted into 'Health and Wellness centres' which will be followed by sub-centres too.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched his flagship programme 'Ayushman Bharat' in 2018 which aims at making interventions in primary and tertiary care systems. It covers both preventive and promotive health to address healthcare of people holistically.

By strengthening and upgrading the PHCs and sub-health centres into wellness centres, universal access to an expanded range of health services will be provided. It will instil the culture of a team-based approach to deliver quality healthcare. All PHCs should have a colour as part of branding them. This exercise was completed in all 102 PHCs and 18 eUPHCs in Chittoor district.

Under the new initiative, Mid Level Healthcare Providers (MLHPs) are to be appointed to offer expanded range of services. They need to improve public health activities, clinical management, dispensing of medicines, early identification of complications among other things. So far, 27 MLHPs were appointed in Chittoor district whereas every sub-centre should have one.

Accordingly, about 600 MLHPs are required, who will be recruited in phased manner. Another batch of more than 20 MLHPs were in their final stage of training. These personnel are responsible for implementation of national health programmes, administration and management at Health and Wellness centres, identification of danger signs and referral after pre-referral stabilisation, and ensure quality protocols including implementation of biomedical waste disposal.

They have to participate in monthly outreach and community level meetings. MLHPs, who are qualified with BSc Nursing degree, will lead the primary healthcare team under the supervision of PHC Medical Officer at sub-centres.

Explaining their role, the Additional District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) Dr C Aruna Sulochana Devi told The Hans India that MLHPs will reduce the burden on ANMs and will help in reducing maternal mortality rates, communicable diseases, provide basic dental, geriatric, ENT and ophthalmic care services and create awareness on Yoga.

With this system, the contraceptive services, comprehensive reproductive health services and childhood and adolescent health care services are also expected to be improved. MLHPs need to enter all the details in web portal for which they were given tabs.

All these measures aimed at achieving the objectives of prevention through behaviour change, early diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, she said. A Medical Officer of a PHC opined that once all MLHPs are appointed and fulfil the objectives of the scheme, the healthcare system will take a giant leap in the days to come.

However, the work of MLHPs needs to be closely monitored in view of the complaints that they were not going to the field regularly ignoring their basic duties. On the other hand, MLHPs were totally disappointed with their designation.

One MLHP, who preferred to be anonymous said that in the recruitment notification, it was mentioned that they will be appointed as Community Health Officer and will possess gazetted rank. But, after recruitment, they were denied of that designation citing technical reasons.

As the sub-centres allotted to them have been far away from their places and they were seeking transfers. She said that they will attend OP duties, school health and immunisation programmes.

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