sulabh swatchh bharat

Thursday, 20-June-2019

Mohalla clinics on roll

New Delhi| In a failing medical care facility of the country, Delhi’s Mohalla clinic is gaining prominence among the residents, suggests a report by Lancet, an international leading healthcare journal.

Chandrakant Pandav, a community medicine expert at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), noted that "a serious limitation is the focus on curative care and neglect of preventive and promotive care. Under pressure from populist politics, these clinics are ending up equating holistic health care with curative care." 

Pandav, however, feels preventive outreach services, linkage with existing health facilities, and monitoring and quality assurance of diagnostic services could help improve the services being provided by the clinics.

The High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage established by the central government had recommended in 2011 a substantial increase in public health financing to provide universal access to free primary care services including essential medicines and diagnostic tests.

"Mohalla clinics appear to be putting this strategy into operation. There is already a good case for scaling this up in Delhi and potentially in other Indian states because people seem to like these services," said Robert Yates, Senior Fellow at Chatham House, London, UK, after a recent visit to a clinic in Delhi.

"Evidence from around the world shows that increasing access to publicly financed primary care is the best way to accelerate health coverage," said Yates.

Although some states have studied the model and are keen to replicate it, scaling it up in Delhi to 1,000 clinics by the year-end has been caught up in a political dispute, the report said.