The Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme launched by the Modi government has made little headway in Delhi even as the Mohalla clinics set up by the AAP government in the Capital that offer primary health care have got a fairly good response.
A majority of the people The Statesman spoke to said they have been to the Mohalla clinics and were satisfied with the facilities. The stock of medicines at these clinics is also adequate, they said. AAP’s mohalla clinics have helped them to avail of free and quality health care services near their homes, many people said.
Shiraz Haider, who runs a mobile repair shop at New Seemapuri said, “AAP mohalla clinic is offering quality care to all of us. I went there with my mother who was suffering from joint pain and after the treatment and free medicines she recovered fully within a month and is now leading a pain-free life.”
Kuldeep Singh, 43, an auto driver staying at Kondli said, “After I met with a small accident a few months back, people took me to a nearby Mohalla clinic where doctors gave me primary medical care and discharged me after a few hours. Next day I was back on duty. For me, it is nice to have a mohalla clinic where one can easily go and avail medical care”.
The Delhi government has, in fact, been providing accessible and quality health care services through primary, secondary and tertiary facilities out of which primary care is delivered through dispensaries, secondary health care through multispeciality hospitals and tertiary health care services through super-speciality hospitals.
These health facilities cater to the needs of not only the population of Delhi but also migratory and floating population from neighbouring states which constitute a considerable patient load.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme, on the other hand, has very little resonance in the Capital as the AAP government has refused to come on board while very few private hospitals have empanelled themselves for the scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) is the chief component of the scheme. PMJAY offers free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh annually for “poor and vulnerable” patients in empanelled hospitals. The Centre bears 60 per cent of the cost while the state bears the remaining 40 per cent.
The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically. It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives, Health and Wellness centres and the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
The AAP government’s reservations about the scheme are that it caters only to secondary and tertiary requirements and that it is not universal in nature as it covers only a very small population of those who are below the poverty line.