AAP announces money for more mohalla clinics

The Aam Aadmi Party government in New Delhi announced, on Tuesday, allocation of Rs 209 crore to set up 1000 “Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics” in the city. After opening the first of their projected 1,000 clinics in a resettlement colony in West Delhi in July, the AAP government’s announcement is finally another push to their ambitious plans for improving the public health infrastructure in Delhi.


The mohalla clinic has been a pet project of the government, with health minister Satyendra Jain having expressed previously complete confidence in the concept, and his other plans for the city’s health. The clinic in the JJ colony in Peeragarhi, as dna had reported, was a success with the residents, as it was a primary care facility right in their midst, eliminating problems to commuting to hospitals or government dispensaries further away.

The government said today, after a cabinet meeting, that “the average OPD attendance in this clinic 140 patients with peak attendance of 230”.

The Peeragarhi model is set to be replicated elsewhere, as the clinics are slated to serve people within a kilometre distance, so that “people will not have to walk for more than 10-14 minutes to have access to primary health care.” This concept has provided relief to the JJ colony residents as many had expressed physical and financial difficulties in accessing other hospitals and dispensaries.

The staff of these clinics is also to be increased, as the government said they will be manned by a medical officer, a pharmacist, an auxiliary nursing midwife, a lab technician and an outsourced security guard.

The clinics will also be linked to the AAP poly clinics for referrals to specialists.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the AAP government’s first poly clinic on Monday, the first of a projected 100.

In his speech Kejriwal had said that these poly clinics would be the second rung of a three tier health system, providing a much needed link between the mohalla clinics serving as the primary facility and hospitals which ideally should be tertiary facilities. However, currently Delhi’s hospitals are overburdened with surge after surge of patients needing primary medical aid. The mohalla clinics, if successful, could plug this gap in the system, relieving hospitals. Such was the hope expressed by many officials in the central health ministry to dna, albeit anonymously, when the first mohalla clinic opened.

The AAP government, in its annual budget earlier this year, gave health the second highest allotment of Rs 4,787 crore.