GUWAHATI: A media visit was conducted on Monday to the Health & Wellness Centres created in Futuri and Gotanagar under Ayushman Bharat programme. Dr Bhaskar Nath, Medical Officer (Incharge, Urban Health and Wellness Centre, Gotanagar) and Jeherul Islam, (Community Health Officer, Sub Centre Health and Wellness Centre, Futuri) guided the visitors through the processes and explained the working of the Health & Wellness Centres (HWC). The journalists were informed regarding the developments that have been made under the Ayushman Bharat programme and the different services being provided under these two Health & Wellness Centres.
Various new services including diagnostics, NCD screenings, laboratory tests, HIV tests, facilities for geriatric people, etc have become enhanced and easily accessible through these developed health centres. The HWCs have the facility of submitting Community Based Assessment Checklists filled by ASHA workers through tablets. Over 400 health centres across Assam have been renovated under the Health & Wellness Centre programme with better services and amenities made available to the community since August last year. The government aims to increase the number of HWCs in Assam to 1,000 by March 31, 2019.
Studies show that 11.5% households in rural areas and about only 4% in urban areas, reported seeking any form of OPD care - at or below the CHC level (except for childbirth) primary care facilities, indicating low utilization of the public health systems for other common ailments. The National Sample Survey estimates for the period-2004 to 2014 show a 10% increase in households facing catastrophic healthcare expenditures. This could be attributed to the fact that private sector remains the major provider of health services in the country and caters to over 75% and 62% of outpatient and in-patient care respectively. India is also witnessing an epidemiological and demographic transition, where non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, respiratory, and other chronic diseases, account for over 60% of total mortality. There is global evidence that Primary Health Care is critical to improving health outcomes and has an important role in the primary and secondary prevention of several disease conditions, including non-communicable diseases. The provision of Comprehensive Primary Health Care reduces morbidity and mortality at much lower costs and significantly reduces the need for secondary and tertiary care.
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