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Posted at: Dec 12, 2016, 12:39 AM; last updated: Dec 12, 2016, 12:39 AM (IST)

Mohalla clinics win praise from Lancet journal

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 11
In what has come as a pat on the back of the Delhi Government is that its flagship health programme-- mohalla clinics-has been praised by the UK's The Lancet, one of the oldest medical journals in the world. 

Pointing out that the Aam Aadmi Party government's programme has become quite popular with the residents in the national Capital with the number of people visiting the centres picking up since it was launched in July 2015. 

The mohalla clinics were rolled out with an aim to provide better primary care coverage in the national Capital and to people from all income brackets. 

"The initiative is aimed at expanding the reach and range of health services in unserved and underserved areas such as slums," The Lancet report said.

It noted that in a unique model, all services - consultation, medicines, and diagnostic tests - are offered in one place and are free for people from all income groups. 

In existing state-run dispensaries and hospitals, people have to visit three different places for these services and make more than one trip, it added. 

More than 100 mohalla clinics have been set up by the government, but scaling up the programme in Delhi to open 1,000 clinics by the year-end has been caught up in a political storm, as per the Lancet. 

The report points out that doctors and paramedics are also overworked and absenteeism is high. To circumvent such problems, compensation for doctors and staff in mohalla clinics is linked to the number of patients they see, said the journal. 

Clinics have added another layer to the existing system at the primary health care level and offer "key advantage", it said while underlining that many states are keen to replicate the model. 

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