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HM lauds role of AB-HWCs in COVID response as centres cross 50k mark

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In top five states, Maharashtra leads in functional AB-HWCs (6381), followed by UP (5368), Gujarat (4853), MP (4284) and Karnataka (3804)

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare congratulated the States/UTs for their efforts in operationalising more than 50000 Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per ministry data, of the functional AB-HWCs as on November 18, of the top five states, Maharashtra leads with 6381 AB-HWCs, followed by UP (5368), Gujarat (4853), MP (4284) and Karnataka (3804).

While acknowledging the contribution of HWCs in COVID response and management, Dr Vardhan thanked the frontline health workers, the Medical Officers, the Community Health Officers and ASHAs for their dedication to the cause of providing Comprehensive Primary Health Care services and for supporting millions of people with necessary services in these difficult times.

HWCs have helped in interventions such as risk communication, contact tracing, community surveillance and early identification of cases, and seamless provisioning of non-COVID essential health services for ensuring protection of vulnerable groups, such as the newborn, elderly and those with co-morbidities.

Ayushman Bharat was launched in 2018 and the first AB-HWC was launched by Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on April 14 2018 at Jhangla in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh.

The 50,025 operational AB-HWCs are now spread across 678 districts, and include 27,890 Sub Health Centres, 18,536 Primary Health Centres and 3,599 Urban Primary Health Centres. Together, these AB-HWC have witnessed over 28.10 crore footfalls of which over 53 per cent are women who sought care at these centres. More than 6.43 crore people have been screened for hypertension, 5.23 crore for diabetes and 6.14 crore people for cancers.  About 1.0 crore people are being provided free drugs for treatment of hypertension and about 60 lakhs for diabetes.

HWCs also provide a strong backbone for the implementation of the eSanjeevani platform of Health Ministry which includes the eSanjeevani Patient-to-Doctor OPD and eSanjeevani-HWC which provides Doctor-to-Doctor teleconsultation service. 23,103 HWCs have started providing teleconsultation services to citizens. More than 7.5 lakh teleconsultations have already been conducted through these platforms. The eSanjeevani-HWC was rolled out in November 2019. It is to be implemented in all the 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres in a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model, by December 2022. States need to set up dedicated ‘Hubs’ in Medical Colleges and District hospitals to provide tele-consultation services to ‘Spokes’, i.e. Health & Wellness Centres (HWC).

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