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Maharashtra govt in plans to expand its public health network for women and children

The Maharashtra government is planning to expand its public health network by setting up hospitals for women in every district in a bid to improve maternal and child health, and ensure access to medical facilities, .

Currently, the state Public Health Department has a total of 13 such specialised hospitals in districts like Gondia, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Parbhani, Jalna, Osmanabad, Latur, Ulhasnagar (Thane), Neknur (Beed), Khamgaon (Buldhana), Hingoli, and Nanded.

Dr Satish Pawar, Director, health services, told DNA that the state government was planning to set up one hospital each in the other districts to cater to women and children.

This means that these hospitals will be established in 21 districts, barring Mumbai city and the suburbs.

“Our women hospitals have a occupancy higher than the capacity, and as a result see a huge rush of patients… The plans for these hospitals in all districts are at different stages, and we are looking for government-owned land at suitable locations near district headquarters,” said Pawar, adding that construction work was near completion at Gadchiroli.

The new hospitals will have 100 beds each. Each of these facilities is expected to have Rs 30 crore capital cost and a staff of 100 including specialists like gynecologists and anesthetists, and nurses.

“The expansion of public sector hospital facilities will lead to a rise in institutional deliveries and meet the demands of rising population. Though general hospitals exist across Maharashtra, women and new-borns will get specialised care in these hospitals,” said another Public Health Department official.

From April 2016 to January 2017, healthcare institutions manned by the Public Health Department saw over 2.96 lakh deliveries.

The official added that later, they may also establish new facilities at headquarters of districts like Thane, Beed and Buldhana where such specialty hospitals are already functioning.

Most of existing hospitals have 100 beds, barring a few like the Daga memorial hospital at Nagpur (350 beds), Gondia, Amravati and Akola (200 beds) and Neknur and Parbhani (60 beds).

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