February 9th, 2017
Delhi Government received international acclaim for its mohalla clinics. As per the data, in over five months, 110 mohalla clinics have treated 8 lakh patients. However, many believe that this project is still in the growing phases. One can see many patients standing in the queues for hours to get basic medicines.
These mohalla clinics were started by AAP government to take diagnosis and treatment of everyday ailments to people’s doorsteps and reduce the need to go to private hospitals. They offer 110 essential drugs in the form of injections, tablets, syrups, ointments, and drops and 212 diagnostic tests to people. They are available free of cost at all government hospitals and clinics.
Even the doctors only prescribe those medicines that are available in the list so that patients do not have to go to any private hospitals. However, it seems that touts have taken advantage of this situation to make a quick buck.
“I came to the hospital at 7 am and waited for two hours to meet the doctor. I have been standing in the queue for a cough and fever medicine, and it’s 1:30 pm now. I cannot wait any longer, and I still have the fever. I am left with no choice but to buy it from the chemist,” says Kusum Kumari, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Another person, Roshanara Khatun says that her mother has a heart condition and requires medication regularly. He picks up the medicine every 15 days when he brings her for a check up, but he spends the whole day at the hospital to get them. His sister stands in the queue, and he takes his mother to the OPD, and when the check up is done, he switches places and stands in the line.
Many patients have complained about the delays and added that touts lurk around medicine counters offering what are supposed to be free drugs, for a small price. People have preferred paying for the free medications as it is cheaper than the commercial price.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took note of the complaints from the people of Delhi and directed Health Minister Satyendra Jain to seek immediate resolution of the problem. He also made clear that if the situation remains unresolved, then it would be interpreted as an intentional attempt to prevent the distribution of medicines.
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