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Monday 13 July 2020

Kejriwal tries to sell mohalla clinics to Modi; PM sells back Ayushman Bharat

Kejriwal also requested the prime minister to extend the Centre's help towards a scheme to store the excess Yamuna waters during the monsoon

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was their first meeting since the Lok Sabha election, during the run-up to which the former had made all sorts of allegations against the latter. Kejriwal congratulated the prime minister on BJP’s win in the election. Thereafter, he invited Modi to visit a mohalla clinic, the Aam Aadmi Party’s flagship neighbourhood health centre.

To that, Prime Minister Modi said if some method could be chalked out to integrate the Centre’s medical insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat with the Delhi government’s programme.

Kejriwal tweeted: “Met Sh ji n congratulated him for LS victory.”

The Delhi chief minister wrote on Twitter, “Ayushman Bharat was briefly discussed. Informed Hon’ble PM that Delhi Govt’s Delhi Health scheme is much bigger and wider in scope. However, assured him to examine if Ayushman Bharat scheme cud also be integrated into our scheme.”

As seen in a tweet above, Kejriwal requested the prime minister to extend the Centre’s help towards a scheme to store the excess Yamuna waters during the monsoon. According to him, the water stored around this time could be used by the city of Delhi the whole year.

Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) or National Health Protection Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018 under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW in India. The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.

It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives namely, Health and Wellness centres and National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). Indu Bhushan is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Dr Dinesh Arora as the Deputy CEO of Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

On the other hand, mohalla clinics are primary health centres in the city-State of Delhi that offer a basic package of essential health services including medicines, diagnostics, and consultation free of cost. These clinics serve as the first point of contact for the population, claim to offer timely services, and reduce the load of referrals to secondary and tertiary health facilities in the State.

Mohalla clinics, set up by the AAP government in 2015, grew to 187 in number by last year, serving more than 20 lakh residents. The AAP government has kept a target of setting up 1,000 such clinics in the city before 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election.

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2015, more than 65% of the population in India paid for health from their own pockets. In 2017, only 17% of Indians had health insurance. While both Ayushman Bharat and mohalla clinics are, hence, a requirement of the people, questions are raised about the implementation of the latter, as the opposition in Delhi alleges there are inadequate facilities in the neighbourhood health centres.

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