New Delhi: In a fillip to healthcare for weaker sections of society in the national capital, the Delhi government has opened low-cost clinics equipped with diagnostic facilities. Called the Aam Aadmi Clinic, the first one was opened in Peeragarhi Camp in West Delhi on Sunday by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The clinic, set up at a cost of Rs.15-20 lakh each, will have blood testing facilities and electrocardiogram (ECG) to check heart function. The government plans to set up 1,000 such clinics in the next one year. On an average, each constituency in the national capital region will have 15 such clinics.
The clinics will have doctors round the clock and specialists such as gynaecologists and pediatricians will visit the clinic on a weekly basis. The clinics will eventually have an ambulance facility as well.
Through this initiative, the government aims to reduce to rush to referral hospitals such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Safdarjung Hospital.
“This clinic has been set up at a very low cost of around Rs.15-20 lakh. Earlier setting up a dispensary used to cost much higher. This government is an honest one and there is no corruption in its functioning,” Kejriwal said after inaugurating the first clinic.
The Delhi government in their maiden budget had allocated a sum of Rs.125 crore to set up primary healthcare facilities through “mohalla clinics” or community clinics. The government will also set up five centralized labs in various parts of Delhi to provide diagnostic services to patients visiting these clinics. A sum of Rs.4,787 crore was allocated to health in the budget, the second largest allocation after education.
The government has drawn flak over the names of its schemes, calling the decision to name mohalla clinics as Aam Aadmi Clinics “political nepotism”. Last week, the government announced plans to set up “Aam Aadmi Canteens” across the city.