Millennium Post

Affordable, accessible healthcare

Affordable, accessible healthcare

In a country where people by hundreds and thousands live deprived of basic medical and healthcare needs, compounded further by the soaring expenses of everything, the revolutionary phenomena of mohalla clinics pioneered by Aam Aadmi Party has not only found favour with the common people, but people are willingly coming forward in support of this initiative. These primary health centres in Delhi offer a basic package of essential health services including medicines, diagnostics, and consultation free of cost. The purpose of these clinics is to serve as a first point of contact for people with timely services if necessary and ease the load of referrals to secondary and tertiary health facilities in the national capital territory. This 'zero cost model' seeks to ensure better access to primary healthcare and reduce out-of-pocket health expenditure for people coming from low-income groups and underdeveloped areas in Delhi. Notwithstanding the politics surrounding this initiative, what speaks volumes of its success is that hundreds of residents have formally come forward to offer their private spaces on rent (to be a maximum of Rs 20,000) to set up more mohalla clinics. More than 650 applications have been received from willing participants. Although the Kejriwal government has delivered only close to 200 of the promised 1,000 mohalla clinics so far, they have found favour with residents and its popularity is remarkable. In a very basic sense, this is the essence of democracy at display here where the involvement and participation of people are maximised, for both their benefit and to the assistance of the government to deliver better.

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