New Delhi, July 20: Giving out message loud and clear that Arvind Kejriwal government always keeps interest of the common men tops of the priority list, Delhi government on Sunday opened 'Aam Aadmi Clinic' for them.
The move is being seen as an attempt to win people's eroded faith back in the government.
The first such clinic was opened at Peeragarhi Relief Camp in West Delhi. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself inaugurated the clinic.
Government also announced that it would set up another 1,000 such facilities within a year, as announced in its maiden budget, to make primary health care more accessible to people.
"This clinic has been set up at a very low cost, it has been set up at a cost of around Rs 15-20 lakh, whereas earlier a dispensary used to cost much higher. This clinic has all testing facilities too so patients can get any test, from blood tests to ECG, done," Kejriwal said at the inauguration of the clinic at Peeragarhi Relief Camp.
"This is a prototype clinic. 1,000 such clinics will come up in Delhi within an year. Since there are 70 constituencies in Delhi, on an average each of them will have at least 15 such clinics and I have asked the MLAs to identify prospective locations in their respective constituencies," he added.
The clinic is a peripheral health care unit which is aimed at providing better medical facility to the weaker sections. The Chief Minister said that the clinics will be able to cure 95 per cent of the patients and will reduce the rush at hospitals such as AIIMS, Safdarjung and GTB Hospital among others, which can cater to patients with serious ailments.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said, "A gynaecologist and paediatrician will visit the clinic once every week, besides regular doctors posted at these clinics. Ambulance services will be arranged so that if any patient is referred from these clinics to hospitals there is a facility to take him or her there."
"All the receipts and maintenance of medical records will be computerised. We also plan to increase the number of hospital beds to 20,000 in Delhi," Jain said.
Terming the health care infrastructure as "poor" and a "major bottleneck" in the quality of life in the national capital, the Delhi government had allocated Rs 4,787 crore to the health sector. A provision of Rs 500 crore was made for the 'Aam Aadmi' clinics and for increasing the number of government hospital beds.
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However, Delhi BJP has termed this decision as "political nepotism". BJP said that when the Arvind Kejriwal government had announced this scheme, they had said that these would be called mohalla clinics. Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said that party would raise this issue before the Lieutenant Governor and Election Commission.
"This is political nepotism and it seems that the Kejriwal government has taken inspiration from erstwhile Mayawati government of Uttar Pradesh which had installed hundreds of statues of elephants, the party's election symbol, all over the state," he said.
Upadhyay also said, "Delhi BJP will raise a complaint in this context before the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the Election Commission soon."
Delhi BJP General Secretary and Member of Parliament, Ramesh Bidhuri, said that Kejriwal has "violated political and electoral code" by naming these clinics as Aam Aadmi Clinic. The clinic is a peripheral health care unit aimed at providing better medical facility to the weaker sections.
(With inputs from PTI)