The Chennai Corporation is carrying out a baseline survey to identify gaps in the existing public health care system, as part of National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).

The Union Cabinet, a few weeks ago, approved the Rs. 22,507-crore NUHM that seeks to focus on the urban poor. The city is expected to consolidate public health care facilities in slums and extended areas. It is anticipated that the State will be allocated Rs. 200 crore this year. The scheme will be introduced as a sub-mission under the National Health Mission (NHM). The mission will be implemented in 779 cities and towns, each with a population of more than 50,000, and cover over 7.75 crore people in the country.

The NUHM aims to improve the health status of the urban population, focussing on the poor and disadvantaged sections, by facilitating equitable access to quality health care through a revamped primary public health care system, targeted outreach services and involvement of the community and urban local bodies.

“Most of the Chennai Corporation dispensaries function during the day now. The detailed project implementation plan for the city, if approved under NUHM, may lead to the functioning of more evening clinics that will help poor people,” said an official associated with the project.

“The city is fairly well ahead in healthcare. The city’s healthcare challenges in slums and added areas are likely to be tackled well after supplementary estimates are approved in September,” the official said.

Under NUHM, the city is likely to have one Urban Primary Health Centre for a population of 50,000-60,000, one Urban Community Health Centre for five to six urban Primary Health Centres, Auxiliary Nursing Midwives (ANM) for a population of 10,000 and an Accredited Social Health Activist for 500 households. The Centre will fund 75 per cent of the mission and the State 25 per cent. The Chennai Corporation will be fully involved in the implementation of the scheme in the city.

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