STATING THAT if New Delhi can increase expenditure on public health and reduce cost of electricity bills, Delhi Cabinet Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain on Saturday indicated that Maharashtra can also do so but the state government should have the willpower needed for it.
Hailing the success of mohalla clinics in Delhi, the health, power, public works, home, industries and urban development minister said that Rs 250 crore has been pumped into the programme this year, and plans are underway to expand 189 clinics into 1,000 in Delhi.
“We promised free medicines, and in three months of coming to power, government hospitals are providing medicines to all patients. In mohalla clinics, 212 tests are done free of cost,” Jain said at a conference.
“If Delhi can talk about providing MRI test for free, why not Mumbai? Sarkaar ki ichchashakti honi chahiye (Government must have the willpower),” he added.
With Lok Sabha election slated in 2019, AAP is focussing on existing health conditions in Maharashtra. Dr Santosh Karmarkar from AAP Maharashtra unit said that while Delhi government spends 12 per cent of its budget on health, Maharashtra spends only 3.36 per cent.
Jain added that implemention Ayushman Bharat in government hospitals will only boost the earnings of insurance companies. “Government hospitals should as it is provide free treatment,” he said. Ayushman Bharat (National Health Protection Scheme) caters to over 10 crore poor people and provides coverage up to 5 lakh per family per year.
In Mumbai, AAP has started a Mohalla clinic in Kurla on a pilot basis. Every day, 30 to 40 patients are treated at the clinic by specialists. “We are spending Rs 1 lakh on it every month through trust model.. Maharashtra requires 3,000 such clinics to bridge gap in primary healthcare,” said Karmakar.