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AAP Government has turned Delhi into a sick city: Dr AK Walia

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NEW DELHI: Quoting statistics, Delhi's former health minister Dr A K Walia has assailed the performance of the AAP government on the health front.

Delhi's former health minister Dr A.K. Walia has said that during the three-year rule of the AAP Government the national capital has witnessed a big increase in all kinds of diseases and unmanageable air pollution, rendering it a sick city.

He said the AAP Government, on a serious subject like health, ran a pilot project like Mohalla Clinics in a shoddy manner.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, on February 10, 2018, Dr Walia said the AAP Government has been underutilizing budget amounts for a serious subject like health, which  has been having a cascading effect on the health of the people in Delhi.

He said the AAP Government had been patting its own back for record budgetary allocation for health, but the ground reality was something totally different.

He said the Congress Government in Delhi had left 602 primary health centres which the AAP Government reduced to 491 in 2016-17.

He said the AAP Government closed down 111 dispensaries and 24 dispensaries were turned into poly clinics. He said against a promise made by the AAP Government to increase beds by 30,000, only 806 beds have been added since 2014, out which the AAP has been in power for two and a half years, making an average of 268 beds per year.

In contrast, during the last term of the Congress Government, from 2008 to 2013, the average number of beds added was 544 per year, he added.

Dr Walia said the registration of patients in Mobile Health Clinics and School Health Clinics was reduced by 91 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 2013-14.  He said the Mobile Health Clinics were on the verge of closure while School Health Clinics have been reduced to just 53.

He said the number of mobile health vans, which render service at JJ Clusters and under-construction sites etc., was 90 in 2013-14, but by September 2017, there was no mobile van in service.

Dr Walia said the AAP had promised to setup 1000 Mohalla Clinics but in the three-year rule of the AAP Government, only 162 Mohalla Clinics were created. He said the AAP Government had swindled money in the name of Mohalla Clinics as most of the clinics were set up at the premises owned by AAP leaders and workers at rents much higher than the prevailing market rates.

He said in these clinics, private doctors were drawing salaries ranging from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh for doing just four hours of duty daily whereas doctors who do 12 hours of duty per shift in Government hospitals were getting much less salary.

Dr Walia said during the AAP rule, vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya have spread like never before. He pointed out that during the Congress rule in 2011, 1131 cases of dengue was reported and eight people died. But in 2015, the number of dengue cases went up to 15,867 and 60 deaths were reported. Similarly, in 2012, when only six cases of chikungunya were reported, the number went up to 11,192 in 2016.

Dr Walia said according to a report on HIV/Aids virus, the number of cases reported in 2014 was 2211 which increased by 684 per cent to reach 17,332 cases by 2016.

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