#OwnYourPHC: Demand accountability from your local healthcare units!

As of July 2021, the urgent need for PHCs or Primary Health Centres in all wards of the city was felt by BBMP, which was behind vaccination campaigns in the city. It was observed that out of the 198 wards in the city, only 141 had PHCs, which BBMP was supposed to look into. Although utilised by 70% of the population in the country, the state of PHCs isn’t satisfactory. They are often understaffed, don’t have electricity or toilets for staff and some don’t even have a single doctor!

If you want to find out more about a) the presence of a PHC in your ward and b) if they’re equipped with basic amenities, keep on reading!

  1. Locate a PHC in your ward and map out problems: Start by knowing which ward in Bengaluru you belong to and see if it has a PHC. If it does, make a short visit to the location and categorise your findings under the following sub headings : healthcare staff, medicines and building infrastructure.
  2. Ask for citizen feedback: Involve local people in your project and get responses through either word of mouth or google forms. Analyse the main issues in the PHC and try to resolve some minor issues through community help. For example, if a PHC lacks a thermometer or a first aid kit, ask people from your neighbourhood if they can help in providing these amenities to the PHC.
  3. Get in touch with the District Health Officer: After observation of the site repeatedly and noticing a few trends, get in touch with District Health Officers or Nodal Officers to cross check and gain clarity on your findings.
  4. Now what?: Implementation of the recommendations from citizens as well as researchers is the most important step in the process. You might find that not all PHCs have the same problems, so work according to the needs that the doctors and the staff share.
    a) Share your reports so that people can start to use it as a public repository. Additionally, keep going back and forth to make sure that the basic demands, if any PHC lacks them, are addressed by the officers.
    b) Start small by implementing changes in one PHC and use it as a prototype. Involve citizen participation to ensure accountability.
    c) [Social media awareness](Login • Instagram) about the same can encourage people to be more involved in community efforts to grant accessibility to different communities!

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