Wednesday June 19, 2019
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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)

 

  • 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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BJP Holds Arvind Kejriwal Responsible For Sanitation Worker’s Death

According to police, he had gone to clean the drain but got trapped in the silt and garbage in the drain

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The new move the Arvind Kejriwal's party denounces the concept of digitalization
The new move the Arvind Kejriwal's party denounces the concept of digitalization

The BJP on Monday held Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the death of a sanitation worker in a drain saying that the government was playing with their lives as they are not given protective gear.

“This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. Due to the negligence of the government, sanitation staff goes for cleaning sewers and dies there after inhaling toxic fumes. They are never saved even after rescue operations,” Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari told reporters here.

His remarks come a day after a sanitation worker choked to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain while cleaning it in north Delhi’s Jahroda area.

The work of cleaning the drain was being carried out by the Delhi government’s flood control department.

Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives ,www.thestatesman.com

“Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives,” he said.

Highlighting the deaths of sanitation workers in Delhi in the past few years, the BJP MP from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency said that in September 2018, five sanitation workers died while in August 2017, 10 died inside sewers.

“Kejriwal is responsible for the deaths of sanitation workers who die while cleaning sewers and the investigating agencies should take action against him,” he said.

Attacking Kejriwal, Tiwari said, “During the last three to four years, more than 60 workers have died.”

Arvind Kejriwal giving speech suring chanda bandh satyagrah
Arvind Kejriwal giving speech during chanda bandh satyagrah

He also accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling his promise of providing safety equipment to sewer workers and mechanical sweeping.

A senior Delhi Police official said that it has registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code over the death of the sanitation worker.

The sanitation worker has been identified as Kishan, 37, a resident of north Delhi’s Wazirabad area.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

According to police, he had gone to clean the drain but got trapped in the silt and garbage in the drain.

His body was taken out from the drain by a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) late on Sunday night. (IANS)