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‘Delhi’s Mohalla clinics are overhyped’: Karnataka health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao after his visit was hyped by Arvind Kejriwal

While he had said that he visited the Mohalla clinic to see how they can improve the similar namma clinics in Karnataka, it was taken as praise of the Mohalla clinics by the media. However, within hours he gave his verdict and said that the clinics are overhyped.

In an interesting turn of events, senior Congressmen and the minister for health and family welfare in the government of Karnataka, Dinesh Gundu Rao visited the Delhi government’s mohalla clinic at Panchsheel Park on 4 August and termed it “overhyped.” He even went one step ahead and called his experience “disappointing.”

While he had said that he visited the Mohalla clinic to see how they can improve the similar namma clinics in Karnataka, it was taken as praise of the Mohalla clinics by the media. However, within hours he gave his verdict and said that the clinics are overhyped.

The politician took to Twitter to express his opinion. He posted, “Visited a mohalla clinic in Delhi with hardly any people there. Our clinics in Karnataka have more facilities including a laboratory to do immediate tests for patients. I guess it is overhyped and I came back feeling disappointed.”

Source: Dinesh Gundu Rao’s Twitter account

Interestingly, the Aam Aadmi Party supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had already tweeted a self-congratulatory post, labelling the visit a learning experience for the minister from the southern state.

He commented, “Karnataka health minister visits Delhi mohalla clinics. We welcome him and his team. We all have to learn from each other. Delhi will also learn from the good work done by Karnataka govt,” on a tweet by Minister of Health, Urban development and water in Delhi government, Saurabh Bhardwaj.

Source: Arvind Kejriwal’s Twitter account

Saurabh Bhardwaj posted images where he is accompanying the Congress stalwart on social media and wrote, “Positive initiative by the Government of Karnataka and Delhi! In order to further improve the namma clinic of Karnataka, today at Panchsheel Park, Delhi, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Government of Karnataka visited the mohalla clinic of the Arvind Kejriwal Government and invited me to visit Karnataka.”

Dinesh Gundu Rao was accompanied by Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj during his visit to facilities at mohalla clinics. Talking to reporters during the visit, he had said “I had heard a lot about mohalla clinics and I wanted to see them. I wanted to discuss how they (AAP govt) are implementing health policies.”

“In southern states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, health has always been a priority. Every state has got something good that we can learn from. We have something similar… we have namma clinics. We wanted to see how we can improve our system,” Dinesh Gundu Rao was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

It is notable that the Karnataka govt runs 438 Namma clinics across the state, out of which 225 are in Bengaluru. Each Namma clinic consist of a doctor, a nurse, a lab technician, and a Group D employee.

The Delhi government’s mohalla clinic is a neighbourhood facility for providing free primary healthcare to residents. They are one of the flagship initiatives of Arvind Kejriwal’s administration to allegedly boost the primary healthcare system in Delhi.

Notably, Congress and AAP are allies in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, a grand alliance of 26 opposition parties and now the alliance partners are sparring over mohalla clinics in the national capital.

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