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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Absent doctors? No medicines? Now volunteers will monitor AAP’s mohalla clinics in Delhi

AAP government recruiting community volunteers following a probe ordered by the vigilance department into Kejriwal government’s flagship project

cities Updated: Apr 25, 2018 17:19 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times
According to a government pamphlet, the requirement for applying to be a volunteer is “passion for serving the society without remuneration”.
According to a government pamphlet, the requirement for applying to be a volunteer is “passion for serving the society without remuneration”.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

The AAP government will recruit volunteers from the community to monitor the workings of the mohalla clinics in their neighbourhood. The government plans to have 5 to 10 volunteer for every clinic.

The requirement for applying to be a volunteer is “passion for serving the society without remuneration,” the government pamphlet says.

“The volunteers will be a part of the management committee of the mohalla clinic in the neighbourhood and will be responsible for keeping a check on whether the doctors come on time, whether the consultation is proper or whether there are deficiencies or repairs needed in the infrastructure,” said a Delhi government official.

The volunteers have to be physically present in the clinic for 4 hours or more every week and document the progress and problems in the clinic they are responsible for.

Apart from monitoring, they will also be able to help awareness workshops organised by the government on first aid and emergency care, mother and child care, dengue, chikungunya and flu, respiratory diseased etc.

This move comes after the vigilance department of Delhi government initiated an inquiry into “operational” issues related to mohalla clinics.

According to sources, the department had received several complaints and the probe will primarily look into the total money being paid to consultant doctors and rent amount for a few mohalla clinics functioning at hired properties.

As per the arrangement, consultants (doctors), who have been hired to provide service at the mohalla clinics are paid Rs 30 for every patient they attend to.

Sources said the department has received complaints of doctors “fudging” the number of patients they see every day, besides “unnecessarily” calling the patients repeatedly to “inflate” the numbers.

The project has received global recognition with leaders such as former UN general secretary Kofi Annan and former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland lauding the initiative. UK’s The Lancet - one of the oldest medical journals in the world - also praised the concept last December.

“The monitoring process was a part of the design for the mohalla clinic project. The community has to be responsible for maintaining the quality at its clinics. However, we were unsure initially unsure whether this would work. We have so many big hospitals, but there is no community monitoring,” said the official.

The government decided to go forward with the volunteer monitoring after receiving complaints about doctors inflating numbers. “We came to know that some doctors were inflating the numbers and we removed them,” the official said.

First Published: Feb 27, 2017 12:48 IST