Mohalla Clinics: Taking health care to doorsteps of common man
Until a month ago, Neelam would spend Rs.70 on travelling in a cycle-rickshaw to get her blood sugar checked at a diagnostic centre five km away from her place of residence for Rs 50. Now, she can get the test done for free at Delhi’s first Mohalla (neighbourhood) Clinic - a two-room modern basic healthcare centre started by the AAP government in a west Delhi slum with a population of over 12,000.
“This place had no chemist’s shop, let alone a primary health centre. Having the Mohalla Clinic here is such a relief,” Neelam, who is in her 40s and lives in the Peeragarhi Relief Camp, told IANS.
Aiming to provide basic healthcare to the poor in the capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government plans to open 1,000 Mohalla Clinics in slum clusters and poorer neighbourhoods in outlying areas of Delhi, which will also ease the burden on <g data-gr-id="23">over-crowded</g> hospitals. The AAP government had earmarked Rs 3,138 crore for the health sector in its maiden Rs.41,129 crore budget presented in June. The first such unit has already become popular among the residents of the settlement inhabited largely by migrant worker families who live on small and uncertain incomes. The compact, modern structure with lively, colourful exteriors is a far cry from what the expression “government primary health centre” brings to mind.
A covered verandah leads to a roughly 25 feet x 15 feet room that has been divided into two. The first comprises the reception and digital registration area, testing lab and pharmacy while the other is for the doctor. The clinic is air-conditioned and equipped with all that one.