Looking back 2023: Closure of PHCs for ‘revamped’ AACs belied govt claims on better healthcare : The Tribune India

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Looking back 2023: Closure of PHCs for ‘revamped’ AACs belied govt claims on better healthcare

Looking back 2023: Closure of PHCs for ‘revamped’ AACs belied govt claims on better healthcare

The Health Department faced criticised for keeping the official count of chikungunya patients low even as a large section of city population experienced symptoms of the disease. File photo



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25

The healthcare sector continued to be in news for reason or the other throughout the year. While the government patted itself for opening new Aam Aadmi Clinics (AACs), terming them a revolution in ensuing better healthcare facilities, the move also led to controversies as most of the new centres were constructed in buildings which earlier housed Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) or Community Healthcare Centres (CHC).

Old wine in new bottle

The Health Department entangled itself in the first controversy in January after it changed the names of five satellite hospitals named after the Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones) into Aam Aadmi Clinics.

In a damage-control move, the old names of the facilities were retained later by the government.

These facilities were Bhai Dharam Singh Satellite Hospital, Ranjit Avenue, Bhai Daya Singh Satellite Hospital, Mustafabad, Bhai Mohkam Singh Satellite Hospital, Saketri Bagh, Bhai Himmat Singh Satellite Hospital, Kale Ghanupur, and Bhai Sahib Singh Satellite Hospital, Fatehpur.

Inaugurated AACs had no buildings

The state government’s hurry to only take easy credit for Aam Aadmi Clinics was confirmed from the fact that at least eight centres did not have any building even after a month of inauguration.

In February, a report by The Tribune highlighted how these facilities were inaugurated but did not have any buildings or staff.

High number of chikungunya cases

During this year, the district reported an astonishing high number of dengue and chikungunya cases. While dengue is a disease with which the residents have been familiar for a long time, most of them had not heard of chikungunya before. The district Health Department reported nearly 800 chikungunya cases. It was criticised for keeping the official count of patients low even as a large section of the city population experienced symptoms similar to chikungunya and dengue.

‘Unsafe’ working conditions for doctors

Resident doctors at Government Medical College continued to feel unsafe especially after an incident in October, in which one of them was brutally injured by two relatives of a patient. The incident forced the doctors to initiate a strike to get the culprits booked. It was after the doctors boycotted all work that the police took the required action and registered a case.

Check on food adulteration

During the festival season this year, the Health Department seized large quantities of spurious food items, especially khoya. In a special drive initiated by the Health Department, it seized over six quintals of poor-quality khoya. The department’s actions, however, remained confined to token exercise only as residents failed to get good-quality food items.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Aam Aadmi Clinics


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