Two years of AAP govt in Punjab: Ensuring last-mile delivery of healthcare - Hindustan Times
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Two years of AAP govt in Punjab: Ensuring last-mile delivery of healthcare

By, Chandigarh
Mar 16, 2024 09:12 AM IST

AACs have come up on the lines of Mohalla Clinics, opened by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, and as per Punjab government claims “have improved the last mile delivery of health services for the common man.”

Health has remained one of the major thrusts of the Aam Aadmi Party’s government in Punjab with the setting up of Aam Aadmi Clinics (AACs) as one of its main themes.

AACs have come up on the lines of Mohalla Clinics, opened by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, and as per Punjab government claims “have improved the last mile delivery of health services for the common man.”
AACs have come up on the lines of Mohalla Clinics, opened by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, and as per Punjab government claims “have improved the last mile delivery of health services for the common man.”

AACs have come up on the lines of Mohalla Clinics, opened by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, and as per Punjab government claims “have improved the last mile delivery of health services for the common man.”

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To date, the state government has set up 829 clinics with free testing facilities. As many as 31 lakh tests worth 70 crore have been conducted and medicines worth 450 crores distributed.

The health department claims that over 1.15 crore people across the state have availed of free treatment at these clinics.

However, these clinics have also run into controversy with the Union government withholding funds worth 700 crore under the National Health Mission (NHM) alleging that the state government has converted the centrally sponsored health and wellness centres as AACs. The AACs have also been criticised by a section of the doctor fraternity who questioned the rationale behind converting primary health centres, which already have more facilities, into AACs.

The staff crunch is the other issue that the government has grappled with. The state government tried hiring super specialists but efforts have also not borne desired results. Most of the super specialists’ posts are vacant in the state.

In the last advertisement of posts for specialists notified by the Punjab government in November 2023, only 592 applied for the job against 634 posts. In this recruitment, 271 joined, and several have since then resigned.

The government’s announcement in the first budget, after coming to power, about setting up 16 new medical colleges in the next five years has also not seen any serious effort. The announcement fails to find a mention in the second budget presented on March 5.

Setting up a Liver and Biliary Sciences institute at Mohali where there is a plan to have facilities for liver transplant in the coming months, is a giant stride in the health sector, besides the introduction of the ‘Farishety Scheme.’

The Farishety Scheme incentivises taking accident victims to hospitals and their treatment. Starting of ‘CM Di Yogshala’, a mass campaign to take Yoga to the community level is another major scheme initiated by this government.

“The first two years of our government have proved a watershed moment for the health sector in Punjab. Our Aam Aadmi Clinic (AAC) model has been appreciated worldwide. Winning the faith of the common man in the government health facilities has been our major achievement,” said Dr Balbir Singh, health and family welfare minister.

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