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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-10

Mohalla Clinics of Delhi, India: Could these become platform to strengthen primary healthcare?

Public Health Specialist, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Chandrakant Lahariya
B-7/24/2, First Floor, Safdarjung Enclave Main, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_29_17

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The mohalla or community clinics in Delhi, India aims to provide basic health services to underserved population in urban settings. This article reviews and analyzes the strengths & limitations of the concept and explores the role these clinics can play in (1) reforming urban health service delivery, (2) addressing health inequities, and (3) strengthening primary health care. These clinics provide basic healthcare services to people, in underserved areas, in a responsive manner, have brought health higher on the political agenda and the governments of a number of Indian states have shown interest in adoption (of a variant) of this concept. Strengths notwithstanding, the limitations of these clinics are: curative or personal health services focus and relatively less attention on public/population health services. It is proposed that while setting up these clinics, the government should built upon existing health system infrastructure such as dispensaries, addressing the existing challenges. The new initiative need not to be standalone infrastructure, rather should aimed at health system strengthening. These need to have a functional linkage with existing programs, such as Urban Primary Health Centres (U-PHCs) under national urban health mission (NUHM) and could be supplemented with overall efforts for innovations and other related reforms. The author proposes a checklist 'Score-100' or 'S-100', which can be used to assess the readiness and preparedness for such initiative, should other state governments and/or major city in India or other countries, plan to adopt and implement similar concept in their settings. In last 18 months, the key contribution of these clinics has been to bring health to public and political discourse. Author, following the experience in Delhi, envisions that these clinics have set the background to bring cleanliness-health-education-sanitation-social sectors (C-H-E-S-S or CHESS) as an alternative to Bijli-Sadak-Paani (B-S-P) as electoral agenda and political discourse in India. The article concludes that Mohalla Clinics, could prove an important trigger to initiate health reforms and to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage in India.

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