Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party government has presented Rs 60,000 crore budget for 2019-20 in the Delhi Assembly. A total of Rs 7,485 crore which amounts to 14 per cent of the budget allocation, has been towards the healthcare sector. However, the allocation towards the much touted scheme of ‘Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics’ has been reduced by 6.9 per cent.
Mohalla Clinics were started by the AAP government in Delhi as primary health centres, which offer a basic package of essential health services including medicines, diagnostics, and consultation free of cost. For this, the Delhi government has received huge praise in the past. But the scheme seems no longer to be the priority of the government.
The AAP government has reduced the allocation for the development of mohalla clinics and polyclinics from Rs 403 crore in 2018-2019 to Rs 375 crore in this budget.
Out of the total target to set up 1,000 mohalla clinics, so far only 189 have been set up and 333 more are expected to be set up by June-end. There has also been an apparent reduction in the number of people visiting such clinics, which got reduced to 40 lakh in the current financial year, up to December, as compared to the 80 lakh people reported in the last budget, said The Indian Express.
However, patient-friendly facilities such as free medicines, bearing treatment cost of road accident and fire burn victims, free of cost laboratory diagnostic and radiological services has been continued. Further, a sum of Rs 588 crore has been proposed for the construction of new hospitals and re-modelling of existing ones.