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Mohalla clinics to remain among prime focus areas in Delhi health sector in 2019

Mohalla clinics to remain among prime focus areas in Delhi health sector in 2019

NEW DELHI: Mohalla clinics will remain one of the prime focus areas for the AAP government this year with their numbers projected to rise manifold in 2019, even as the proposed health bill is likely to be presented in Delhi Cabinet this month. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said that for the AAP government, health and education sectors were key areas, and work was underway to further enhance them. "Mohalla clinics would remain the prime focus areas in the health sector and in 2019. We have set a target of increasing their number manifold. A flagship feature of the government's health policy, we want to serve more and more people as we expand our footprint," Delhi's Director General of Health Services, Kirti Bhushan said. A mohalla clinic is a neighbourhood facility for providing free primary healthcare to the city's residents closer home.

A typical mohalla clinic has a doctor, a midwife-cum-nurse, and an array of diagnostic services and essential medicines are provided free of cost to patients there. "At present, we have 189 mohalla clinics and our target is to take it to 500 in six months," Bhushan said.

In other focus areas in 2019, the Delhi Health Bill is likely to be presented in the AAP cabinet in January as Health Minister Satyendar Jain has given nod to his department to finalise the bill. The bill, once implemented, will help regulate clinical establishments and pathological laboratories and in the national capital. The committee, in its draft, has also defined emergency care services for all hospitals and nursing homes.

Incidentally, the Delhi high court recently had sought response of the Centre and the AAP government on PIL claiming that the law (Clinical Establishment Act, 2010) for registration and regulation of all clinical establishments has not been implemented in the city despite coming into force in 2012. In other major developments in the health sector in the year gone by, the court had in October quashed the AAP government's circular on giving preferential treatment to city residents over non-residents at the GTB Hospital. The proposal to give preference to residents of Delhi at the GTB Hospital in east Delhi's Dilshad Garden was approved in August by the CM.

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