The Bhagwant Mann Government on Monday claimed a health revolution in Punjab with the opening of the Aam Aadmi Clinics (Mohalla Clinics). But the Shiromani Akali Dal has alleged that the Mohalla clinics had failed in both Delhi and Punjab.
Addressing a press conference in Mohali, State Finance Minister, Harpal Singh Cheema and Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh said that with a view to providing top-class treatment free of cost to the people of Punjab, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann would dedicate 400 Aam Aadmi Clinics at a programme in Amritsar on 27 January.
They said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal would attend the opening ceremony as Chief Guest.
Earlier, the CM had opened 100 Aam Aadmi clinics, built in the first phase on 15 August. Now after the completion of 400 new clinics, the total number of Aam Aadmi clinics in Punjab would be 500.
Cheema claimed that the AAP Government in Punjab has ensured the health revolution within just a year.
Health minister Dr Balbir said that till now more than one million people have taken advantage of Aam Aadmi Clinic and over 3 lakh people were examined at free of cost. Also, medicines were also given free of cost to the people.
He said that the first priority of the AAP Government is to ensure that people of Punjab gets free education and best quality treatment in the State.
On the other hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal, however, asked the CM to explain why his Government needed Rs 30 Crore for publicity of the Mohalla clinics saying that the State would have to spend Rs 10 Crore.
SAD leader, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said that on the one hand, the Chief Minister was touting Mohalla clinics as a success with 10,00,00 people having benefited from them. He said, if this was so, why was the Government not confident that Punjabis would spread the good word around.
“What is the need to publicise them in the State and up to south India, except to further the political agenda of AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal ?” Dr Cheema asked.
According to Dr Cheema, the truth was that the Mohalla clinics had failed in both Delhi and Punjab and instead of accepting this reality, the Government was trying to sell this model in other States at the expense of the Punjab exchequer.
“It (Mann Government) is even threatening and implicating the former health secretary, who refused to approve the Rs.30 crore publicity proposal,” he said.
The SAD leader, further, said that Punjab already had primary health centres and did not need more dispensaries in the name of Mohalla clinics. He said that what was needed was good secondary and super speciality healthcare.
“Let us not take the State backwards”, he told the Chief Minister while asking him to review the decision.