Mohalla clinics may not just bring universal healthcare (UHC) to Delhi’s residents, it may also partially solve the problem of anti-microbial resistance, former World Health Organisation director general and Gro Harlem Brundtland said on Thursday.
“The healthcare reforms being undertaken in Delhi strike me as an excellent strategy to build an exclusive health system in India and bring UHC to its people,” Brundtland, who is the former Prime Minister of Norway, said.
The praise for the project came at the ongoing Prince Mahidol Award Conference at Bangkok, Thailand after a presentation by Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain. This is the second time in a week that the project has received international acclaim.
Former secretary general of United Nations Kofi Annan had written to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 25 to commend the mohalla clinic project. The project could be a model for states trying to move towards UHC, he had written.
In her speech, Burtland said Mohalla clinics were fulfilling the needs of the people.
“In seven months since their launch, these clinics have seen an astonishing 1.5 million people visiting them, indicating the huge unmet demand of free universal healthcare in India,” she said.
The government’s initiative of providing free medicines may have the unintended effect of partially solving the problem of anti-microbial resistance, she added.
“They (the government) are also providing access to free essential medicines and diagnostic tests throughout the entire public health system. This is reducing the need for people to buy medicine over-the-counter from private drug shops, which we know is one of the factors driving anti-microbial resistance in India and across the world,” Brundtland said.