Slated for Republic Day opening, 112 mohalla clinics in Punjab hit ‘fund hurdle’ : The Tribune India

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Slated for Republic Day opening, 112 mohalla clinics in Punjab hit ‘fund hurdle’

Rs 621 cr pending under NHM amid Wellness Centre branding row

Slated for Republic Day opening, 112 mohalla clinics in Punjab hit ‘fund hurdle’

The mohalla clinic at Subhani building in Ludhiana. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Manav Mander

Ludhiana, January 27

The state government’s decision to open 112 Aam Aadmi Clinics on January 26 turned out to be a mere announcement as no mohalla clinic was inaugurated on the Republic Day.

Withholding of the National Health Mission (NHM) funds to Punjab seems to be one of the primary reasons.

In December, Chief Minister had announced to open more than 100 Aam Aadmi Clinics but even those announced in September last year are nowhere in sight.

Officials of the Health Department are tight-lipped about the inauguration. Several senior officials said they were waiting for a nod from the government.

According to sources, withholding of the NHM funds due to branding norms was one of the main obstacles. The Centre has been at odds with the Punjab Government for branding the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as Aam Aadmi Clinics.

An amount of Rs 621 crore has been pending under the NHM as several mohalla clinics were started at the Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

In Ludhiana district, seven out of 16 Aam Aadmi Clinics were scheduled to be inaugurated in rural areas.

“The clinics are ready and staff has also been finalised. We are waiting for a green signal from the government,” said sources.

Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh said the file regarding opening of more than 100 mohalla clinics was with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. He said once the CM approves the file, they would open them. When asked if withholding of the NHM funds was behind the delay, the minister said the Centre was unnecessarily creating hurdles and this project was entirely different. “There are a few centres where the Health and Wellness Centres are running inside the PHCs. We have not touched these but upgraded only the PHCs,” said the minister.

“A few rural dispensaries will also be upgraded but their name will not be changed to Aam Aadmi Clinics,” he said.

Centre creating hindrance

The Central Government is unnecessarily creating hurdles. There are a few centres where the Health and Wellness Centres are running inside the PHCs. We have not touched these but upgraded only the PHCs. — Dr Balbir Singh, Health Minister

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#Aam Aadmi Clinics #Mohalla Clinic #Republic Day


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