HEALTH CENTRES IN EACH UNION BOARD.
West Bengal Government propose to set up a Health Centre in each of its 2050 Union Boards. The Centre will have an outdoor dispensary and a four-bed hospital, and two of these four beds will be set apart for maternity and two for emergency cases. The scheme has been formed with a view to give medical relief, benefits of public health and preventive measures to all the inhabitants of the rural areas.
It has been estimated that the capital cost of establishing a Health Unit would be about Rupees fifteen thousand (Rs. 15000/-) and the recurrent cost would come to Rupees seven thousand (Rs. 7000/-). The staff proposed to be provided at each Union Board Health Centre will be one rural medical officer of health, one health assistant, one trained dai, one servant and one sweeper.
The rural medical officer of health will attend the outdoor dispensary and the hospital in the morning and will be helped in his work by the health assistant and the dai. In the afternoon he with his health assistant and the dai will carry on preventive works, viz. examination of school children, anti-malarial measures, vaccination, removal of public health nuisances, public health propaganda, etc.
This reminds us of the significant observation of Major General A.C. Chatterjee while opening the Scientific conference organised in connection with the 15th annual Reunion of students of Carmichael Medical College on Thursday the 19th. December, 1946. General Chatterjee stressed the need for training medical men and nurses with a curriculum different from that of medical graduates in order to provide suitable peroneal for work in rural areas.
According to the estimate of recurring cost of Rs. 7000/- for every health unit in each of the 2050 Union Boards, this item alone will involve an expenditure of Rs. 1,43,50000/- With one- third of this colossal figure the Honble Health Minister, West Bengal Government, will definitely give more extensive and curative medical aid, if he introduces the Homoeopathic system of treatment in these Health Units. With the other third he can weed out the jungles in the villages, improve the tanks and ponds, and implement other effective anti-malarial and sanitary measures; the balance will yet be saved to him to be utilised in agriculture and pisciculture.
The medical officers of health and health assistants may be given a course of six months training in Hahnemanns Organon and Materia Medica before they take up charge of any Health Centre.