Work on 708 Urban Health and Wellness Centres is progressing fast in Tamil Nadu. In the first phase, nearly 500 of these centres are to be opened for members of the public in a month.
A total of 593 Urban Health and Wellness Centres were sanctioned for 2021-22 and 115 for 2022-23 across the State. Chennai has the most number of these centres, with a total of 200 coming up. As many as 64 centres are being set up in the Coimbatore Corporation, 62 in the Madurai Corporation, 36 in the Tiruchi Corporation, 34 in the Tiruppur Corporation, 32 in the Salem Corporation and 21 in the Erode Corporation.
Officials said that almost all of the centres would have new buildings. Construction was in progress for 593 facilities.
“Urban Health and Wellness Centres are the need of the hour in view of the increasing urban population. They will definitely ensure immediate treatment for people, especially those who are living in urban slums, and will also reduce their out-of-pocket expenditure,” said T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
In phase I, around 500 centres will be opened in a month. Each centre will have a doctor, a staff nurse, a health inspector and a support staff member. The recruitment for these posts will be carried out through the District Health Societies.
The Urban Health and Wellness Centres will function from 8 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. “They will basically function as clinics in the morning and evening hours, and offer 12 services, including antenatal care, infant immunisation and treatment for minor ailments such as fever, cold and cough. The centres will be linked with the school health teams for follow-up and will dispense medications for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. They will also have a health education component,” Dr. Selvavinayagam said.
In the future, these centres would also include delivery services, he said.