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Mohalla Clinics: Caught in a maelstrom between state govt, L-G, Delhi tertiary healthcare suffers

New Delhi: A day after the spat between Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor over the construction of 1,000 Mohalla Clinics, the BJP has decided to complain the President of India about the issue taking the controversy to a whole new level.

 Mohalla Clinics: Caught in a maelstrom between state govt, L-G, Delhi tertiary healthcare suffers

A patient getting a consultation at a Mohalla Clinic. Image courtesy: AAP Facebook

The row over establishing of Mohalla Clinics comes at a time when the National Capital is reeling under the fear of being struck by endemic of water borne diseases during the monsoons, which claimed more than 30 lives last year.

Vijender Gupta, leader of BJP’s legislative party said to Firstpost that he has sought time from the President of India to inform him on the issue and is likely to get an appointment within a day or two.

"We will submit him a memorandum on the issue and explain how the AAP led government in Delhi is putting undue pressure to pass the Mohalla Clinic project, which is nothing but a political propaganda," he said.

Gupta also said that the Mohalla Clinic project has a number of irregularities in it right from high rent paid in the name of the premises to transferring of staffs from the essential medical services to these newly opened dispensaries.

"They are trying to oblige some people by shelling out money from the coffers in the name of rent just to meet political ends," Gupta said. "The staff working in the Mohalla Clinics are deputed from the hospitals under the Delhi government. It is increasingly becoming difficult to operate the hospitals."

The BJP leader said that by transfer of staff to Mohalla Clinics from hospitals the Delhi government is sacrificing the quality of hospitals.

"Mohalla Clinics are only meant for primary health care. How can a government deprive patients admitted in the hospitals from quality service?" he asked.

The complaints raised by opposition parties in Delhi against the construction of more Mohalla Clinics is seen as one of the reasons why the project has not moved beyond more than 150 such establishments. The Aam Admi Party came out with a note with details of the controversy on its website.

"The file for setting up of new clinics was sent to the L-G in May for his approval, after which leaders from Opposition parties filed frivolous complaints regarding the functioning of the clinics. The L-G sent the file to the vigilance department, which sat on the file for over a month and a half," said AAP.

It further said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who has charge of the vigilance department called for the file to ensure speedy disposal of the same, but the L-G asked the department not to show the file to the minister.

According to the party, the health minister received a letter from the vigilance department on 29 August containing a gist of "vague" allegations regarding the Mohalla Clinics. Within minutes, the minister responded asking for a list of specific complaints which he assured he will look into himself.

Soon the impasse over establishing Mohalla Clinics reached an all time high when more than 40 MLAs went to the L-Gs office on Wednesday triggering a face off. Rather than talking about the issue both the parties ended up accusing each other of rude behaviour.

The Times of India reported Wednesday’s face off in L-G’s office, “The MLAs, who reached the LG secretariat around 2.40pm, finally left around 9pm, after the L-G agreed to meet the CM and the cabinet on Thursday evening."

Quoting MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, the report that the L-G became angry during the meeting even though "there was no provocation from the MLAs" and stormed out after spending "three minutes and 23 seconds" with them.

Prabir Haldar, a resident of Greater Kailash said, “Chikungunya does not discriminate between the political parties, cast, religion or income status. I visited the Mohalla polyclinic a few months back and is of the view that this kind of facility is important as the every Delhi resident has to be protected from such nasty virus.”

As per record released by the Delhi health department, the Mohalla Clinics treated eight lakh people in its first five months.

The Mohalla Clinics, which provide free primary treatment at neighbourhoods, are seen as revolutionary measures for this step has blurred the difference between rich and poor in terms of availing healthcare.

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Updated Date: Aug 31, 2017 21:08:54 IST