Gujarat to set up evening clinics for poor in 8 big cities

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on July 28, 2021

Pandit Deendayal Clinics aims at providing quality primary healthcare services at doorstep

The Gujarat Government will set up evening clinics across eight municipal corporations in the state. They will be named after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. The evening clinics will specifically cater to the underprivileged section of the urban population including labourers, daily wagers and workers.

Aimed at providing quality primary healthcare services free-of-cost at their doorstep, these clinics will operate for about four hours during evenings.

Announcing the Pandit Deendayal Clinics on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who is also State Health Minister, informed that these clinics are in addition to the existing Urban Health Clinics (UHCs) spread across the wards of the Cities.

In spite of the UHCs, there are gaps in the delivery of the quality healthcare services to the urban poor and the underprivileged section.

"These clinics will be set up in the poor and densely-populated areas, where workers, daily wager and labourers are living. We have decided that they should get door-step healthcare, and with this aim, Pandit Deendayal clinics will start operating soon across all Municipal Corporations," said Patel.

"The daily wagers and labourers can't afford to take a day off and visit a doctor during the day time. Considering this challenge, we will run these clinics for 4 hours in the evenings," he added.

The basic infrastructure for the clinics will be provided by the civic body, and the government will assign a private practitioner from a nearby area to offer his service during the evening hours.

"A private doctor and his assistance will be given a lumpsum honorarium for their services. They will diagnose the illness for the patients and if found serious, they can be referred to a bigger government hospital," Patel said.

The patients will be provided with free treatment and medicines for general illness. For complicated cases, they can be referred to bigger healthcare facilities such as civil hospitals.

Gujarat has a structured healthcare infrastructure starting from primary health centers (PHCs) at the village level to community health centers, urban health centers, sub-district hospitals, district hospitals, medical colleges and civil hospitals.

The evening clinics are being implemented to make the existing healthcare infrastructure more robust and inclusive in order to provide a PHC-like accessible and free healthcare facility in the vicinity of the localities in big cities.

"This will save time and day for the urban poor," said Patel.

RT-PCR charges reduced

In a separate announcement, the state further reduced the charges for RT-PCR and HRCT tests. In order to prepare for the possible third-wave of the Covid-19, the RT-PCR test charges are reduced from ₹700 to ₹400 at a private lab, while for home collection of the samples the revised charges are fixed at ₹550 as against ₹900 earlier. The RT-PCR tests being conducted at the airports for the travellers, will now cost ₹2,700 as against ₹4,000 earlier.

Similarly, charges for HRCT test (CT Scan) charges have also been brought down from ₹3,000 to ₹2,500 at private radiologists.

All test including RT-PCR and HRCT would continue to be free-of-cost at the government facilities, State government informed.

Meanwhile, additional CT Scan machines and MRI machines will be purchased for the district hospitals in various districts. "As a preparation for the likely third wave, we are installing new and modern CT Scan and MRI machines at the cost of ₹112 crore for the district government hospitals," Patel said.

Published on July 28, 2021

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