Ayushman Bharat: Changes cosmetic, wellness centres in Chandigarh are not any better

During the launch of National Health Protection Scheme on September 23, ten health and wellness centres were announced in Chandigarh.
One of the dispensaries that was upgraded as Health and Wellness Centre under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.(HT Photo)
One of the dispensaries that was upgraded as Health and Wellness Centre under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 26, 2018 11:00 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

Except for the cosmetic changes, nothing good has come for the city’s dispensaries and sub-centres, which were upgraded as health and wellness centres under the Ayushman Bharat scheme recently.

During the launch of National Health Protection Scheme on September 23, ten health and wellness centres were announced in Chandigarh. However, a reality check showed that nothing has changed except the paint and name of the buildings.

Chandigarh administrator VP Singh Badnore had mentioned in his speech that five dispensaries at Dhanas, Mauli Jagran, Sector 38, Sector 20, Dadumajra and five sub-centers at Dhanas, Behlana, Daria, Mauli, and Khuda Lahora villages have been upgraded as health and wellness centres in the first phase.

The upgraded centres were supposed to have a doctor, an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) or lady health visitor (LHV), and a pharmacist.

They were to provide a package of 12 health services such as examining the reproductive child health (RCH), mother and child healthcare, eye and ENT (ear-nose-throat), oral healthcare, geriatric care, mental health, emergency services and yoga sessions also to ensure inculcation of healthy lifestyle amongst residents. Besides this, free universal screening for common non-communicable disease (NCDs) will also be provided.

However, a visit to four centres — Sector 38, Dhanas, Dhanas village and Dadumajra — revealed that nothing has changed except the colour of the buildings, which has gone from brick red to mustard colour. Majority of patients did not even know about ‘Ayushman Bharat’ painted in bold letters outside the buildings.

“The yoga classes are yet to start. For eye check-up, one doctor visits thrice a week and a dentist is available on all days. For rest of the 10 ailments, one doctor is there,” said a staff member from sector 38. Three patients were asked if they have spotted any difference. The answer was ‘no’.

In both the wellness centres in Dhanas, there is no dentist, no eye-specialist and yoga expert. For all other ailments, there is one doctor who is expected to provide primary level care in mental health, geriatric health and be an expert in all other categories.

Nandini, a patient at Dhanas dispensary said, “I am waiting for over an hour to give the sample for malaria test. The doctor is good but at times we do not get all medicines.” Similar was the scenario in Dadumajra.

“Nothing much has changed. We were already providing these services also. Now, yoga classes might start, which will be a new addition,” said one of the doctors.

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