Mumbai, Nov 16 (IANS): In what is billed as a major public health initiative, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will inaugurate 51 Hindu HridaySamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Clinics on the lines of 'mohalla' (neighbourhood) dispensaries all over Mumbai, ahead of the upcoming BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation elections.
Shinde will inaugurate one such free clinic at Dharavi near the ONGC Building through a video-link and within the next six months, 220 such dispensaries shall be functional in the city, especially the slum pockets, officials said.
According to BMC Executive Health Officer Mangala Gomare, these clinics shall be manned by one doctor, one nurse, a compounder, and a helper and will function for 8-10 hours as needed in different localities.
Coinciding with the 10th death anniversary of late Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, while some of the clinics shall come up in porta-cabins, others will be in the premises of existing clinics or BMC ward offices or rented places.
"All the patients shall be provided free medical checkups, medicines, bandages for minor injuries, 147 types of blood tests, while requirements like x-rays or sonography shall be conducted by the approved private medical testing centres on the BMC panel, but charging the civic hospital rates," said Gomare.
With the 51 clinics starting in the first phase - a few have already started functioning from October 2 and proved very popular among the people - a total 220, including polyclinics and diagnostic centres - shall be operational in the next six months.
Certain existing clinics are being upgraded to provide specialised facilities like ENT, ophthalmology, gynaecology, physiotherapy, dermatology, dentistry, paediatrics, etc. treatment to the patients.
All the clinics shall maintain full records of the patients through tab method and soft copy, making the HBT Clinics paperless and eco friendly, said Gomare.
Top dignitaries will join Shinde including Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Health Minister Tanaji Sawant, Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Tourism Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha, MP Rahul Shewale, MLAs Varsha Gaikwad, Sunil Shinde, Rajhans Singh, BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal, Additional BMC Commissioner Dr Sanjeev Kumar, Deputy BMC Commissioner Sanjay Kulhade and others.