Millennium Post

In 4 yrs, AAP opened 189 Mohalla Clinics

A total of 214 tests can be done for free through the clinics

In 4 yrs, AAP opened 189 Mohalla Clinics

NEW DELHI: With just four days left for the AAP government in completion of four years, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's biggest achievement is bridging the gap between peoples' aspirations and the government's priorities, Delhi govt spokesperson said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which took power in Delhi four years ago with a promise to build 1,000 Mohalla (neighbourhood) Clinics in the national capital, has managed to provide only 189 of the widely-praised clinics, blaming the central government for the slow pace of execution.

The Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic (AAMC) project — the opening of primary healthcare centres to ensure free doctor consultations, tests and medicines to people — was one of the flagship schemes of the AAP for which the initial deadline was December 2016. But it was extended to March 2017 and the government failed to meet that target as well.

The clinics, functional from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on all days except Sundays, provide services like basic medical care based on standard treatment protocols which include curative care for common illnesses like fever, diarrhoea, skin problems, respiratory problems, first aid for injuries and burns, dressing and management of minor wounds and referral services.

While medicines are provided free of cost to the patients as per the essential drug list, the lab investigations were carried out by the empanelled laboratories. Officials said a total of 214 tests can be done for free through the clinics.

The AAP, which came to power in February 2015, had a plan to have a clinic each — with a doctor, a pharmacist, a clinic assistant/multitasking worker — in a radius of five kilometres over a population of 10,000-15,000.

The tussle between the central and the Delhi governments has been blamed the most by the AAP for the delay in the construction of the clinics as the government lacked the power to take decisions until July 4, 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled that Delhi's Lieutenant - Governor was bound by the "aid and advice" of the Delhi government, bringing powers back to the AAP government.

The Mohalla Clinic project has been widely praised, including by the late Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister and a former Director-General of World Health Organisation.

It is pertinent to mentioned that the AAP government had in December 2017 announced the free diagnostic tests for those residing in Delhi for the past three years in 37 government hospitals across Delhi and whose annual family income was under Rs 3 lakh.

Another former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, along with Brundtland visited some clinics last year and were "deeply impressed" by it.

The Delhi government was providing health care services through primary, secondary and tertiary facilities out of which the primary care is delivered through dispensaries, secondary health care through multi-speciality hospitals and tertiary health care services through super-speciality hospitals.

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