New Delhi: East Delhi’s Patparganj area houses one of the 110 mohalla clinics set up by the AAP-led Delhi government. The move, aimed at making healthcare free and accessible, has been lauded by The Lancet Journal and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
According to the doctors, around 150 patients come every day at the Patparganj clinic to get free consultation, medicines and medical examinations.
Sonia, who had come to the clinic for the treatment of her son, said that he is feeling better after getting attention at the clinic. “The clinic has proved to be an asset for low income people. For minor ailments like cough, cold and fever, we would earlier just get medicines from medical stores without consulting a doctor. Even then, it would cost Rs 150-200,” IANS quoted her as saying.
She added that proper medical advice and free medical tests are given to them.
Ranjana Saxena, the doctor at the clinic, sees at least 130 patients daily. She said that sometimes the number goes up to 180. Facilities like blood tests, immunization for children and pregnant mothers are also given free of cost.
Food-stall vendor Vinod Kumar, who got his wife for a check-up at the clinic, got himself checked too. IANS quoted him as saying, “This is the biggest benefit. People who would normally avoid treatment for financial reasons now seek medical help for every illness.”
The Aam Aadmi Party government has completed its two years in Delhi and the mohalla clinics, located mostly in poor neighbourhoods of Delhi, have been working towards ensuring good health of its people.
Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain, however, said that there’s still a long way to go.
“The real change will come only after we build all 1,000 clinics we had promised. Only then these clinics will be evenly spread across the city and residents will find one within a kilometre of their homes,” IANS quoted Mr Jain as saying.
He further said that with the coming up of mohalla clinics, the burden on hospitals will reduce. “They will then look like hospitals, not railway platforms.”
Mr Jain said, in the city of 18 million, there is a huge healthcare demand.
Till now, over 23 lakh people have availed of the services at the Mohalla Clinics. Of this, around 50 per cent were those who used government medical services for the first time, Mr Jain said.
He further said that while poor come for treatment when they are unwell, the people from middle class families also come for regular medical check-ups and preventive measures.