Addressing the decision of Delhi government to set up 1000 'Aam Aadmi Clinics' in the capital city, the National Human Rights Commission has urged the Department of Health to first improve the condition of the existing healthcare infrastructure, which remains in shambles and ensure that they are put to optimum use.
Issuing a notice, returnable in four weeks, to the Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Government of NCT of Delhi, the Commission observed that "the proposed plan to set up new clinics is a gradual process but has to be welcomed. At the same time, it is of paramount importance that the existing healthcare infrastructure in the city is made functional in all respects and put them to optimum use so that people of Delhi are provided basic healthcare facilities in their neighborhood. This will also in a way, reduce the overcrowding in big hospitals of the city, since people can avail these primary health centers for their primary healthcare needs."
According to a statement released by the commission, the notice was sent after it took suo motu cognizance of a media report, pointing towards a glimmer of hope on the one hand and a state of despair on the other, that the Delhi Government is planning to have 1000 'Aam Aadmi Clinics' in the city by the next year but has failed to revive the 228 existing Primary Health Centers.
The Commission cited reports that alleged the healthcare facilities in Delhi were struggling to provide basic health services due to shortage of doctors, para medical staff, medicines, laboratory facilities, adding that at least 79 primary health centers were operating from rented premises.