GUWAHATI, March 1 - A media visit to the health & wellness centres created at Futuri and Gotanagar under the Ayushman Bharat Programme was conducted recently.
Dr Bhaskar Nath, Medical Officer (In-charge, Urban Health and Wellness Centre, Gotanagar) and Jeherul Islam, (Community Health Officer, Sub Centre Health and Wellness Centre, Futuri) guided the visitors through the processes and explained the working of the HWCs.
The journalists were informed about the developments that had been made under the Ayushman Bharat Programme and the different services being provided under these two centres.
�Various new services including diagnostics, NCD screenings, laboratory tests, HIV tests, facilities for geriatric people, etc., have become enhanced and easily accessible through these developed health centres. The HWCs have the facility of submitting community-based assessment checklists filled by ASHA workers through tablets. Over 400 health centres across Assam have been renovated under the Health & Wellness Centre Programme with better services and amenities made available to the community since August last year,� Dr Nath said.
The government aims to increase the number of HWCs in Assam to 1,000 by March 31, 2019.
Studies show that 11.5 per cent households in rural areas and about only 4 per cent in urban areas reported seeking any form of OPD care at or below the CHC level (except for childbirth) primary care facilities, indicating low utilisation of the public health systems for other common ailments.
The National Sample Survey estimates for the period 2004-2014 show a 10 per cent increase in households facing catastrophic healthcare expenditures. This could be attributed to the fact that the private sector remains the major provider of health services in the country and caters to over 75 per cent and 62 per cent of outpatient and in-patient care respectively.
These centres include preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative services, which are delivered close to communities by healthcare providers who are sensitive, have an understanding of local health needs, cultural traditions and socio-economic realities, and are able to provide care for most common ailments, enable referral for doctor or specialist consultations and can undertake follow-up.
�These HWCs will provide an expanded package of 12 services including communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, basic oral care, common opthalmic and ENT services, mental health, emergency medical services, screening, prevention, control and management of non-communicable diseases and chronic communicable disease like TB and leprosy, among others,� Dr Nath said.
Implementation of these HWCs will strengthen existing services like reproductive and child health, communicable disease care, in addition to expanding the service package.
The HWCs will have a robust team of at least three service providers (one mid-level provider-BSc/GNM or ayurveda practitioner trained in six-month certificate programme in community health, two multi-purpose workers - male/female) and a team of ASHAs at the norm of one per 1,000 at the sub-centre level and the PHC team as per IPHS standards led by a medical officer. HWC teams will be equipped with tablets at SCs and laptop/desktop at PHC level to create electronic health record of the population covered by HWCs, facilitate referral reporting, and enable continuum of care.