L-G Approves AAP Govt’s Mohalla Clinics Proposal, But With Riders
The Mohalla clinic proposal is aimed at providing free primary healthcare to the city residents closer home.
Lieutenant-Governor (L-G)Anil Baijal on Monday approved the Delhi government's ambitious Mohalla (which means neighbourhood) clinics proposal, although with certain riders. Last week the L-G had a run-in with the AAP dispensation over alleged delay in giving his nod to the neighbourhood health facility scheme.
While approving the Mohalla clinic proposal, Baijal said that the administrative department would evolve and migrate, within six months, to an online system based on Aadhaar or biometrics of patients for better monitoring.
Free Primary Healthcare At Your Doorstep
The L-G office said in a statement:
The Lt Governor has approved the proposal pertaining to Mohalla clinics with incorporation of certain safeguards to promote transparency and ensure delivery of quality health care services to the residents of Delhi.
The statement also stated that to ensure that there is no compromise on the quality of healthcare, the L-G emphasised that the doctors and staff engaged in these clinics should be properly qualified and they should be engaged through a transparent mechanism.
On 30 August, 45 AAP MLAs had camped at the LG office for several hours, insisting that Baijal clear the Mohalla clinics file – an act his office termed as "laying siege" to the office of a "constitutional functionary".
The development marked a fresh confrontation between the AAP dispensation and the L-G’s office which have frequently been at loggerheads.
However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was quick to thank the L-G on Twitter and assured him that the government will implement all the "safeguards"
Guidelines for Mohalla Clinics
The L-G observed that selection of premises for setting up of Mohalla clinics should be through a transparent and objective mechanism in such a way that the existing healthcare facilities are utilised in an optimum manner and the facilities are accessible to all without any duplication of scarce public resources. The statement also stated,
In case of private premises, it has been noted that the selection of premises and fixation of rent should be through a transparent open process as per prevalent PWD or CPWD norms.
To check complaints of data rigging, Baijal has advised that the administrative department must develop a sound mechanism to verify the clinic’s footfall.
Further, wherever required, statutory permissions and no objection certificates must be obtained from the local bodies and department concerned, Baijal said.
The L-G has also asked the health department to regularly monitor the clinics and ensure that all instructions and formalities are followed while incurring expenditure for procurement, supply or outsourcing of services, medicines and goods.
"The Health Department shall not transfer, assign or otherwise part with the ownership or possession of the whole or any part of the said land in any manner," the LG office said.
So far, nearly 110 Mohalla clinics have been set up across the city under the Arvind Kejriwal Government’s flagship project.
However, the proposal could not take off with its full strength as it was pending for the Lt Governor's approval.
In January this year, Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of United Nations, had commended the Mohalla Clinic project.
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