Explained: How Kejriwal's mohalla clinic scheme wins over Ayushman Bharat in Delhi
New Delhi, Feb 12: Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) thumping victory in Delhi polls is being projected as validation of its development model. Beyond education, AAP government has also made Healthcare as its priority and a key issue in the Delhi assembly elections.
This is something a Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal government has generated considerable public attention on measures adopted to overhaul national capital's healthcare system. Its famed mohalla clinics model (neighborhood health clinics), multi-specialty polyclinics, free medicines and surgeries for 30 life threatening diseases, promise to quickly add 30,000 more beds in government hospitals, concept of bike ambulances among others have ganied popularity.
The Mohalla Clinics, charge no fees and have been set up at around 158 locations across the national capital. Till January this year, the AAP government inaugurated 450 mohalla clinics.
Now after his party's stupendous victory in this year's assembly polls, it is said that the opening of nearly 500 Mohalla clinics since 2015, played a vital role in tilting the balance in favour of the IRS officer-turned-politician.
After assuming power in 2015, the first thing that AAP government did was to increase the funds for healthcare. From a measly sum of Rs. 3,300 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 7,484 crore in 2019-20, the health sector budget has seen a quantum jump.
The Delhi government spends as high as Rs 400 cr per year for maintaining Mohalla clinics.
Taking a cue from Kejriwal dispensation's flagship Mohalla clinic scheme, several state governments have already replicating it.
Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand and UT of Jammu and Kashmir have already announced that they would be replicating the initiative.
The Mohalla Clinics also drew international attention, from the likes of former U.N. Secretary Generals Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon for its accessibility and effectiveness. Ban Ki-Moon had also visited one of the clinics in Delhi to have a first-hand knowledge about its functioning.
While national capital's ailing public health system has received much needed booster shots by AAP government, the health story is not without its share of troubles and shortcomings.
On the other hand, the BJP, however, has been targeting the government for not implementing the central Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme. In a recent rally, Narendra Modi had said that the AAP had been depriving the people of Delhi, the benefits of central government schemes for the poor.
"The government in Delhi does not care about the lives of the people living here. What is the fault of the homeless who are not allowed to get homes under the PM Awas Yojana? What is the fault of farmers that they do not get the benefits under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi? Why did daily commuters have to suffer because the fourth stage of Delhi Metro expansion was not given clearance (by city government) for two years?" Modi asked.
In the last five years, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has refused to implement the Ayushman Bharat, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Ujjwala and the PM-Kisan among other key central schemes designed for the poor.