Within the civic healthcare system, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar, is the woman in the hot seat. She responds to issues raised by the Hindustan Times in its four-part series on the city’s public healthcare system, and outlines the BMC’s plan of action.
What is the BMC doing to control the burden on tertiary care hospitals such as KEM, Nair and Sion?
To tackle this problem, we are trying to do two things: Strengthen our outreach programmes in the slums so that minor ailments can be tackled at that level, and strengthen medical facilities at local primary health centres and civic dispensaries.
What efforts are being made to retain doctors in public hospitals?
The introduction of Sixth Pay Commission salaries for doctors will help retain talent. We are also trying to make the working atmosphere in civic hospitals conducive to growth of the staff.
What is the BMC doing to improve the public health system in central suburbs like Govandi and Chembur?
For these areas, we are trying to improve services and widen the reach of slum outpost centres to inculcate basic health and hygiene habits. We are also mapping the need and shortfall of maternity homes in these areas.
What is being done to address the shortfall of trauma care centers?
Construction of a trauma care center near the highway at Jogeshwari is already underway. It will be ready by 2011.
Given the BMC’s cash crunch, several plans to upgrade civic hospitals into super-specialty hospitals have been put on hold. What are the BMC’s priorities?
We have a budget of Rs 418.46 crore allocated for hospitals such as Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli, and Cooper hospital in Bandra. To best use these funds, we have categorised our work – projects that are extremely important will be completed inside this budget.