The civic body has started the process of branding and training its in-house doctors in the hope of strengthening primary health centres in the city and make them equipped to address lifestyle diseases.
There are 162 primary health clinics in the city run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but a majority of citizens and the urban poor they are aimed at treating are unaware of their existence.
By branding these clinics in terms of designing these clinics uniformly with a similar signage and look of the interiors, the BMC is hoping that these centres catch the eye of the public.
Along with branding, these clinics will also be specialised centres of any one of the following diseases - cancer, diabetes or mental health.
These three diseases have been identified as having increasing incidence among even the urban poor and lower middle classes.
The civic body hopes to finish this mega makeover of 60 of its 162 clinics by March 2012.
"According to statistics, these three diseases are no longer restricted to the upper sections of society, so we plan to use these clinics to detect and treat these ailments among those who cannot afford private treatment," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
She pointed out that when these clinics are fine-tuned and improved to cater to basic health ailments it would reduce nearly 30% of the burden of out-patient department cases in major civic and government hospitals.
"We have got doctors and staff working in these dispensaries trained with senior doctors of major hospitals so that their efficiency is improved," said a senior official from the health department, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The structures of the dispensaries that need a minimum touch-up job have been taken on in the first phase and the ones that need repairs and reconstruction will be taken up next year depending on the budget available.
If successful, the public health scenario in the city will change in a big way in the next three years, as the civic dispensary next to your house will not only treat you for common ailments, but also offer specialised cures for lifestyle diseases.