In an effort to strengthen the city’s primary healthcare system and avoid crowding in government hospitals, the health department is roping in private charitable health institutes to provide round-the-clock primary healthcare services in partnership with the Delhi government.
The government has issued an advertisement inviting expression of interests from charitable health institutes. It has also invited potential partner institutions on June 16 to participate in a “stakeholders conference” in the Delhi Secretariat to “to evolve the parameters of the scheme”.
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Health department officials said the government’s target to open 1,000 new dispensaries, as announced by Health Minister Satyendra Jain in the party’s 100-day commemoration function, will be met through this policy. “The idea is that these clinics and institutes will treat poor patients free of cost like in government dispensaries, and others at affordable costs. Patients will not have to rush to hospitals for every small ailment. The government will be supplying routine medicines free of cost to these dispensaries. Beyond that we are still working out the modalities of the scheme, and have invited potential private partners to suggest ideas,”a senior official said.
Jain confirmed that the government was looking at an arrangement with private players on a non-profit basis.
“We have spoken to quite a few trust institutes who are eager to help. For every small cough or fever, or chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension where patients just have to visit hospitals to get their routine medicines and for a basic health checkup, why should they have to crowd hospitals and wait in long queues? Streamlining health services will help us manage patients in hospital better,” Jain said.
According to the EOI, the offer is open to “all charitable dispensaries, polyclinics and day care centres run by NGOs who could provide curative and diagnostic services can participate.
Doctors from the clinics would also be allowed to refer patients for diagnostic services in Delhi government hospitals and dispensaries. The parameters of these referrals, officials said, will be identified to participate in stakeholder’s conference on June 16 in the Directorate of Health Services, Karkardooma.
These dispensaries will also function in the evening hours.
While the government was looking at starting 200-300 of the proposed dispensaries in this mode in areas around big hospitals, the Health department is also revisiting a proposal that the government had made in its previous tenure to start evening OPDs in eleven government dispensaries as a pilot project, to take the load off emergencies in government hospitals.