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Mohalla Clinics: Taking healthcare to doorsteps of poor

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New Delhi: Until a month ago, Neelam would spend Rs.70 on travelling in a cycle-rickshaw to get her blood sugar checked at a diagnostic center 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 center 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, said.

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 neighborhoods in outlying areas of Delhi, which will also ease the burden on over-crowded 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, colorful exteriors is a far cry from what the expression “government primary health center” 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 would expect in a private doctor’s facility, as also an LED TV and a refrigerator.

The clinics will be set up in habitations of sizable numbers like unauthorised colonies, rehabilitation colonies and urban villages largely inhabited by the poor that don’t have access to private doctors. Some 50 basic tests will be conducted at each clinic while basic medicines will also be given out for free.

“Every day 180-190 patients visit the clinic. They don’t have to go to hospitals for minor ailments,” Alka Choudhary, the doctor at the center, said.

Long queues of patients can be seen outside the center which runs from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Besides a doctor, the center has a pharmacist, a lab technician and a trained midwife.

“The infrastructure is so good that the work environment becomes conducive. You don’t feel tired,” Choudhary said. She earlier worked at a Delhi government Primary Healthcare Center (PHC).

Interestingly, Choudhary also doubles up as a counselor.

“These people are poor and are not aware of their rights. Many a time women come here complaining of domestic violence that they have faced. We have guided them to go through the proper channel (for redressal),” she added.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that the AAP government had first studied the health systems of other countries.

“We came up with this concept only after studying the health systems of the US, Brazil, Switzerland and Cuba,” Jain said, adding that the facility was cost-effective and easy-to-maintain due to its optimum size.

“The cost of building one Mohalla Clinic is between Rs.15 lakh and Rs.20 lakh, while a PHC requires Rs.3 crore to Rs.4 crore,” Jain said.

“We want middle-class people to visit the Mohalla Clinics. We will also increase facilities at these centers. For instance, mobile applications will enable people take appointment without standing in a queue,” he added.

“The ultimate aim is to improve the health infrastructure. Common people visit government hospitals for minor ailments that reduce their efficiency. Once they start coming to Mohalla Clinics, the burden on hospitals will reduce,” he said.

(IANS)

 

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  • Jagdish Kumar Bhutani

    This is an excellent concept and should be able to cover more than 80 percent of insignificant/common ailments affecting people. The health EDUCATION must be made a part of such services, as it is productive when it is emphasised at the time of illness (like it should be told that it has resulted from bad hygiene if patient is suffering from loose-motions or skin boils etc. and seasonal respiratory infections and viral infections have self recovering features unless they are obstructed by ‘Jhola Chhap’ doctors) It shall lead to to better health seeking behaviour next time and definitely decrease the work load on the speciality hospitals.

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  • Jagdish Kumar Bhutani

    This is an excellent concept and should be able to cover more than 80 percent of insignificant/common ailments affecting people. The health EDUCATION must be made a part of such services, as it is productive when it is emphasised at the time of illness (like it should be told that it has resulted from bad hygiene if patient is suffering from loose-motions or skin boils etc. and seasonal respiratory infections and viral infections have self recovering features unless they are obstructed by ‘Jhola Chhap’ doctors) It shall lead to to better health seeking behaviour next time and definitely decrease the work load on the speciality hospitals.

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Kejriwal
Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.