Delhi’s government under the headship of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has successfully laid the foundation of 189 Mohalla or Community Clinics in order to take primary healthcare services to the threshold of the underprivileged class of Delhi. In recent news, the Delhi Chief Minister has been urging the people of Delhi to provide rent-free land to the government to set up Mohalla Clinics; the government aims to set up 1000 clinics and is currently appealing people to join in on this good cause.
The enterprise has gathered a lot of commendation internationally, both from the media and international officials like former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during their visit to a health facility. The programme has been called a revolutionary initiative in decreasing the load on secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities.
The scheme has facilitated ease of access and has especially given importance to equity by aiming the poor and marginalized. The Delhi government also enjoys a higher budget and has rightly allocated its funds to give primacy to healthcare; healthcare services are enjoying a massive 4% of the budget, 3% more than the current union budget. This is the first time where health has been announced as a leading scheme alongside education.
It also provides financial refuge to the people by providing 110 essential drugs and 212 diagnostic tests to people free of cost. This has removed the ‘quacks’ that people would usually contact to save money, thus baring themselves to untrained individuals and health risks. Delhi now has a higher number of doctors per 1000 people and the government has made a conscious effort to employ more doctors with its upgraded budgets, thus it has not only assisted health but also increased employment. The Clinics have become a centre for health education and awareness.
The efficiency of the system is echoed in the comments of Brundtland, who was the director general of the World Health Organization. She said-“In Delhi, with Mohalla Clinics and plans to develop them, you are approaching what needs to be done for all people, for every Indian and everyone in every country. So, we are happy to see what is being done here in Delhi and what the government has been planning and implementing on the behalf of the people of this region. It needs to be done all over India,” Kejriwal, although has been facing some problems with the Union Government since the Nation’s Capital, is centrally managed. The same old problem has appeared; it seems that this country cannot allow change for the better without creating problems first.