Mumbai

Migrants’ relief: BMC decides to issue free health certificate through camps

Long way to go: Migrant workers from Vasai and Virar walk down with their livestock on Mumbai-Agra highway near Bhiwandi naka, Thane district, on Monday.

Long way to go: Migrant workers from Vasai and Virar walk down with their livestock on Mumbai-Agra highway near Bhiwandi naka, Thane district, on Monday.  

Medical camps will be held with help of private practitioners in public open spaces

After the controversy over migrant labourers being made to pay for their train tickets home, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has given them a breather. The civic body will hold large-scale health camps in public open spaces with the help of private practitioners and issue free medical certificates to these labourers.

Mumbai had a few lakh labourers stranded until the Centre recently decided to allow them to go home. The migrants require a medical certificate saying that they do not have symptoms like fever or cough.

On Sunday, the BMC issued a circular clarifying that all government hospitals, medical colleges, and private practitioners are allowed to issue these certificates but there have been complaints of private practitioners charging even ₹1,000 per certificate.

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi held a meeting with civic officials of certain wards, which have a large number of these labourers, on Monday.

“There were concerns about labourers crowding at BMC health posts to collect certificates that would defeat social distancing. That is why it was decided to instead hold health camps either in public open spaces or in BMC buildings where certificates can be issued on a large scale,” an officer present at the meeting said.

Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of G North ward, said, “We have identified two locations where the camps can be held. Since our health staff are busy, the BMC will tie up with private practitioners who can issue these certificates. They will be given necessary equipment like protective gear and thermal guns.”

The BMC will negotiate charges with these doctors, which it will bear. Mr. Pardeshi confirmed that the BMC will issue these certificates for free.

But private practitioners are allowed to charge. Mr. Pardeshi, however, said that the BMC will be capping charges levied by private doctors for issuing these medical certificates to migrant labourers.

Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant municipal commissioner of N ward, said, “We had already held a camp in my ward on Sunday. The camps will be conducted in municipal buildings. Labourers will be made to stand in a queue with social distancing.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:26:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/migrants-relief-bmc-decides-to-issue-free-health-certificate-through-camps/article31505981.ece

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