In 2016, columnist Vivek Wadhwa wrote an article in Washington Post wrote titled “What New Delhi’s free clinics can teach America about fixing its broken health care system” where he heaped praises on AAP’s Mohalla clinic. The article quoted Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain claiming that he came up with the idea of a ‘mohalla clinic’ as he “believed that not only will they reduce suffering, but also overall costs — because people will get timely care and not be a burden on hospital emergency rooms.” The article concludes with a line which suggests America should also build mohalla clinics in its cities.
This 2016 article was on Thursday used by Aam Aadmi Party in its election campaign ad.
पहले लोग कहते थे अमरीका से सीखो, अब अमरीका वाले कहते हैं भारत से सीखो, दिल्ली से सीखो, केजरीवाल सरकार से सीखो। pic.twitter.com/HLBIzg2IpC
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) February 6, 2020
At around 20 seconds in the video, it talks about how Washington Post had hailed Mohalla Clinics.
On Friday, Wadhwa took to Twitter say that he was conned by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain and shared a link which levelled allegations of scam and corruption in the mohalla clinics.
It is rare that I comment on politics, especially Indian. But this was so much over the top that it made me sick. https://t.co/dzvlVgXI9E
— Vivek Wadhwa (@wadhwa) February 7, 2020
He said that while he usually does not comment on Indian politics, AAP’s mohalla clinic lies were so ‘over the top’ that it made him sick. The report by Wadhwa, which was based on lies told to him by Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain, was used by AAP in its election campaign to boast about mohalla clinics.
Wadhwa shared a February 2017 DNA article which reported how vigilance probe unearthed a scam wherein doctors allegedly inflated the number of patients they treat. As per the DNA report, doctors in Delhi’s Mohalla Clinics used to ‘treat’ as many as 533 patients in four hours in one day. This would be roughly 1 patient treated every 36 seconds.
It was alleged that the doctors at Mohalla clinics would make false entries of patients, thereby making as high as Rs 4 lakh per month income. As per the report, vigilance officers the doctors were also allegedly duping the patients by giving them ‘useless’ medication to make them come back.