A day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan dismissed Delhi government’s mohalla clinics as ‘flop’, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party termed the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance programme a ‘jumla‘ on Sunday.
Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj was quoted as saying in a video message that the Union government’s scheme was being imposed on the people of Delhi. He underlined that if the PM Modi-led government was serious about national capital’s healthcare, it should allot land for mohalla clinics.
“The DDA has not allotted land for a single mohalla clinic. If Harsh Vardhan is so concerned about the well being of the people of Delhi then he should allot land for construction of mohalla clinics,” he said.
“The Centre wants to impose Ayushman Bharat on Delhi. The bizarre scheme only pays for your (people’s) treatment when you fulfil certain criteria like if your income is below Rs 10,000 if you have no gas connection at your home among others. On the other hand, in Delhi government’s hospitals everyone gets free treatment,” the spokesperson added.
Bharadwaj’s reaction came in the wake of Union Minister’s letter to Delhi chief minister Saturday, in which expressed sharp criticism of Delhi government’s healthcare schemes.
“All your fancy schemes, including the much-touted universal coverage health scheme announced more than a year ago, are still lying on the drawing boards awaiting implementation even after four and a half years. Your mohalla clinics are an utter flop and the drastic neglect of patient care in Delhi government hospitals is there for all to see,” Harsh Vardhan wrote to Kejriwal.
Ayushman Bharat is only applicable to those with an income less than Rs 10,000 per month and does not cater to those who have a scooter, motorcycle, refrigerator and phone.
The scheme in Delhi is available to two crore citizens of the capital, and patients need to pay only for a few medicines that are unavailable due to their high cost — Kejriwal said in his reply to Vardhan’s letter.