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Friday, June 20, 2008

Upgraded PHC to be opened tomorrow

Special Correspondent
Deliveries in PHCs in State have doubled, says Health Secretary at Medavakkam
— Photo: A. Muralitharan

READY FOR OPENING: Health Secretary V. K. Subburaj (left) at the upgraded PHC in Medavakkam on Wednesday. The facility is scheduled to be inaugurated on Saturday.

TAMBARAM: The number of deliveries in Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the State has more than doubled in 2007-08, compared to the previous financial year, Secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare V. K. Subburaj said on Wednesday.

The number of deliveries, which was 80,000 in 2006-07, has increased to 1.73 lakh last financial year. That the number of deliveries in these health centres is the highest in the country is a pointer to the facilities available and faith of the people in the government hospitals. Of the 1,421 PHCs in the State, over 1,000 function round the clock.

Further, the appointment of adequate number of doctors and nurses has ensured that pregnant women rushed to the PHCs in odd hours are attended to instead of being referred to private hospitals, Mr. Subburaj said.

Maternity assistance schemes and overall improvement of facilities and services in the PHCs are the reasons for the increase in the number of deliveries, he added. About Rs.40 crore was being spent on upgrading 75 PHCs at the cost of Rs.55 lakh each.

Mr.Subburaj was talking to reporters at the PHC in Medavakkam, near here, which has been upgraded and scheduled to be inaugurated on Saturday by Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T. R. Baalu.

The PHC in Medavakkam has been upgraded in assistance with Catalyst Trust at the cost of Rs.1.8 crore. He said that for the first time, a non-governmental organisation volunteered to construct buildings and provide facilities for a PHC and the department would like to push this concept forward if other private companies and corporate houses were willing to support.

IT major Cognizant and construction firm Rajparis had created parks on the PHC premises and Phoenix Medical Systems had agreed to maintain medical equipment for five years.

In addition, Medavakkam panchayat and the Kancheepuram district administration too contributed by fencing the premises and would also be working along with Exnora International in maintaining the PHC’s premises clean and green, Mr. Subburaj added.

Apart from the 30 beds, the upgraded PHC is equipped with air-conditioned operation theatre and scanning rooms, centralised oxygen supply, a special ambulance for pregnant women, a steam laundry, blood storage facilities, solar heater and a generator.

S. Elango, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said the PHC would be tying up with other government institutions in and around Chennai.

They would be bringing officials from other districts to study the upgraded PHC in Medavakkam so that they could create similar facilities in their respective places, he said.

S. Krishnaswamy and R. Desikan, managing trustee and president respectively of Catalyst Trust, P. Padmanabhan, former Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, T. V. Anthony, former Chief Secretary and currently adviser to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and B. Ravi, president of Medavakkam panchayat, spoke.

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