National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government over reports about the government’s plans to set up 1,000 Aam Aadmi Clinics. The media reports, the commission observed, pointed “towards a glimmer of hope on one hand and a state of despair on the other, that the Delhi government is planning to have 1,000 Aam Aadmi Clinics in the city by next year, but has failed to revive the 228 existing primary health centres.”
Primary health centres in Delhi were struggling to provide basic health amenities owing to the shortage of doctors, paramedical staff, medicines and laboratory facilities, stated the commission. The NHRC also issued a notice to the principal secretary of the health department, seeking a response in four weeks.
“It is of paramount importance that the existing healthcare infrastructure in the city is made functional in all respects and put to optimum use so that people of Delhi are provided basic healthcare facilities in their neighbourhood. This will also, in a way, reduce the overcrowding in big hospitals of the city, since people can avail these primary health centres for their primary healthcare needs,” the commission observed.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, “We will set up 1,000 Aam Aadmi Clinics but that does not mean we will shut down the primary health centres (PHC). At present, people have to travel to PHCs as they are located far away. Once we set up mohalla clinics, we will also upgrade the existing PHCs”.