Providing universal access of quality health care to the poor is one of the major objectives of the Government. The major interventions by National Rural Health Mission for provision of universal quality services include improving the manpower and infrastructure in public health institutions and implementation of innovative programmes to reach vulnerable unreached sections. In order to achieve this end, the health system in Tamil Nadu has provided primary and secondary health care with special focus on maternal and child health services and continued emphasis on promotion of the family welfare programme.
Studies regarding the urban population reflect that the health of the urban poor is as bad as or worse than that of their rural counterparts. Hence in the urban areas, especially in smaller urban towns, major lacunae exists in the urban health services which is further compounded by the ever growing urban population ie with rapid urbanization, accompanied by growth of urban slums, there is an urgent need to supplement the urban basic health system, especially in the smaller towns. Hence the poor health indicators of the urban poor, a large section of urban slums, need to be addressed on a priority basis.
To effectively address the health concerns of the urban poor, the government of Tamil Nadu with support from NRHM through Urban RCH has established 135 Urban PHCs in 114 Municipalities and 21 town Panchayats. The Urban PHCs are sanctioned One Medical Officer, One Pharmacist, One Lab Technician and Four ANMs per UPHC.