The state government has approved a new primary health centre at Calangute, it is learnt.
The new PHC is expected to take some of the pressure off the Candolim PHC which caters to practically the entire Bardez coastal belt that sees a huge influx of tourists almost throughout the year.The new PHC is expected to be built at Bodkovodh.
Talking to TOI, Dr Sachin Govekar, deputy director of health services who till his recent promotion was medical officer in charge of Candolim PHC, said that the Candolim PHC is overburdened.
"We used to have double the load of other PHCs," he recalled of his stint there.
He said that besides Calangute, the government is also going to build a PHC in Porvorim which "also lacks medical facilities".
Govekar said that he had written to the Calangute panchayat to facilitate the new PHC to be initially housed in a vacant premises next to the panchayat building. But the proposal was shelved because the premises needed major repairs. Subsequently local MLA Michael Lobo proposed a new PHC building, and took up the matter with the government.
Lobo told TOI that the existing sub-health centre, currently housed on the first floor of the panchayat ghar in Calangute, is going to be expanded and upgraded until the new PHC is built.
"We need at least 2-3 additional rooms there," Govekar said. The panchayat has made the rooms next to the centre available for expansion. "The advantage with this arrangement is that there will be a doctor available there every day," Govekar said, adding, "But they won't admit patients until the full-fledged PHC is built."
Lobo said tourists find it difficult to travel to the Candolim PHC in case of accidents and traumatic situations like incidents of drowning because of the 6-8 km from Calangute or Baga.
The ambulances also find it difficult to reach the Candolim PHC during the peak season when the roads are choc-a-bloc with traffic. [TOI]