The Kerala government has ordered the upgrade of the remaining 212 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state to Family Health Centres (FHCs). In a statement on Sunday, state Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the order has been issued under the third phase of the Aardram Mission. Aardram is one of the four missions under the state’s Navakerala Mission, which aims at a total transformation of the public sector.
The government had decided to upgrade 170 PHCs in the first phase of the Aardram Mission and 503 PHCs in the second phase. Of this, 461 PHCs have already started functioning as FHCs. Action has been taken to upgrade the rest of the PHCs in the first and second phase at a fast pace.
“With this, quality treatment will be available at the primary level itself at the nearest place in every part of the state,” the Health Minister said in her statement. Modern laboratories, pre-check counselling, Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) clinics, and facilities for exercise (yoga and wellness) have also been arranged at the FHCs. With the upgrade, the time of functioning and the services available have also been extended.
The Out Patient (OP) wing will function from 9 am to 6 pm. The number of PHCs to be upgraded in each district is: Thiruvananthapuram - 14, Kollam - 12, Pathanamthitta - 13, Alappuzha - 8, Kottayam - 17, Idukki - 12, Ernakulam - 23, Thrissur - 15, Palakkad - 18, Malappuram - 29, Kozhikode - 14, Wayanad - 6, Kannur - 21 and Kasaragod - 10.
FHCs function with the aim of ensuring the physical and mental health sustainability of all citizens in a panchayat. “Kerala has experienced the outcome of transforming PHCs to FHCs during the time of the pandemic. It’s the strong foundation of our health sector that has helped in keeping the mortality rate low despite the increase in the number of patients. The common man is provided quality treatment near his home through the FHCs,” the Minister said.
The government will also launch the Swas project, which aims at the prevention and treatment of prolonged respiratory illness and the rehabilitation of patients. Aswas project, for the prevention and control of depression, will also be implemented.