The Delhi government would construct 185 modern dispensaries in the city in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, 2010. This will take the figure of dispensaries to 500 in Delhi.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit made the announcement while laying the foundation stone of a 500 bedded earthquake-resistant new patient block at the crowded GTB Hospital in east Delhi.
The 8-floor building will be constructed with RCC frame structure using base isolation technology and would be centrally air-conditioned. It would be connected to existing ward block by providing ramp on all floors. The total cost of this project is Rs 61 crore and would be completed by June 2009.
Dikshit claimed the state government was taking effective steps to provide better health facilities before ensuing Commonwealth Games. "We have 365 dispensaries functioning in the City and 185 dispensaries would be set up to take the figure to 500. This would ensure that healthcare is available practically at the doorsteps of the citizens," she said.
Later in the day, the CM chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Health department and found that several hospital projects were delayed and medical equipment and medicines were not being purchased in the stipulated time frame. She instructed the officials for speedy procurement as delay meant denial in providing health service. The meeting was attended by Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri, Chief Secretary Ramesh Narayanaswami and other senior officials.
In the meeting, it was revealed that 650 posts of general duty medical officers were vacant in the city, which was affecting the functioning of the hospitals and the dispensaries. Dikshit issued instructions to take immediate steps to recruit for the vacant posts even the retired staff on contract basis to keep the health services functioning.
The decisions taken in the meeting included procurement of 430 ambulances by 2008. At present, there are only 135 ambulances in the state government hospitals. The government would also make three trauma centres functional before the Games.