Mayor Shelly Oberoi on Monday announced that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will soon begin upgrading the civic body’s healthcare units, and under the proposal, 1,720 projects worth ₹117 crore have been sanctioned.
These projects include repair works, infrastructure upgradation, and procurement of new equipment for seven hospitals, dispensaries, maternity centres, and primary health centres under MCD, Oberoi said, adding that the Delhi government is providing additional funds for this work, which is scheduled to be completed by March 2024.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, said that mere repair of infrastructure will not improve healthcare services in the Capital, pointing to other issues such as staff shortages.
Oberoi, speaking at a press conference, said, “Education and health sector have been two focus areas of the Aam Aadmi Party. These sectors have been neglected under the 15-year rule of BJP in MCD, whereby big hospitals as well as dispensaries have been reduced to shambles. Significant funds have been allocated by the Delhi government under the capital and revenue heads to bolster healthcare infrastructure and services across the city. ₹54 crore has been received under the capital head, earmarked for 451 projects, while an additional ₹63 crore was allocated under the revenue head for 1,269 smaller projects.”
An MCD official said 80% of the funds allocated under the revenue head have already been designated for various projects, which include the procurement of an anaesthesia work station for Hindu Rao Hospital, ventilators for the cardiology department, and the introduction of a laser system in the skin department for plastic surgery in burns cases. Other essential acquisitions include surgical and operation theatre instruments for Mata Gujri Hospital and an operation microscope facility.
The mayor said Hindu Rao hospital, which is the city’s largest MCD hospital, will witness several improvement projects, including essential repairs of various blocks, maintenance work, water line repairs, and electrical work. Civil and electrical work is scheduled at the North Delhi Medical College, while similar repair and maintenance work is on the agenda for Swami Dayanand hospital, she said.
Oberoi said the allocated funds will also be utilised to construct a new administrative block at the Rajan Babu TB hospital premises and improve restroom facilities. “A new maternity centre will be set up in the Madipur area which will be operational by November. Additionally, primary healthcare centres in Qutab Garh, Lal Kuan, Sadar Bazaar, and Jwalapuri are scheduled to undergo building repairs, civil work, and electrical upgrades,” she said.
“Kasturba maternity hospital will benefit from funds received for procuring an ultrasound machine, oxygen monitors for the paediatric department, automatic operation tables and remote-operated beds. Additionally, an ambulance will be provided to enhance emergency services in the hospital,” the mayor said.
In response, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said infrastructure repair and renovations alone cannot improve healthcare services. “The mayor says that she will improve the building infrastructure of MCD health centres and hospitals, but the real problem is shortage of doctors and para medical staff, and lack of tests facilities and medicine shortage. If the mayor is serious about improving MCD hospitals, she should ensure the appointment of doctors and paramedics, along with availability of medicines and test facilities, rather than stressing on mere building repair,” he said.