The city’s poor, especially those who live in the suburbs, could soon have access to better medical facilities.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun groundwork on implementing the central government’s National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) — an urban version of the National Rural Health Mission.
The mission will be implemented in phases and in its first phase will cover 100 cities, including Mumbai. The idea is to streamline all state and national level programmes aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality rates in poor urban pockets.
“We are doing our homework so we can implement the NUHM policy smoothly,” Additional Municipal Commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar. “We also plan to strengthen our slum outreach programme as the basic policy has been sketched out for urban poor.”
The NUHM will focus on adolescent centers, old age clinics, family welfare ands women’s health, including post natal care and detection centers for cervical and breast cancer.
The civic body has begun studying the need for additional maternity homes in the suburbs. “Our health facilities have also been city centric, but with the increase in population in the suburbs we are beginning to strengthen our health facilities there,” said Executive Health Officer, Dr G.T Ambe. “We are carrying out a survey to determine the distance between maternity homes and the nearest slum.
The BMC also plans to open dialysis centres and facilities to cater to lifestyle diseases. It is also considering free healthcare facilities for a slumdwellers.