‘Ramrajya’ must have good & free education, healthcare: Delhi CM Kejriwal

If one imagines ‘Ram Rajya’, it should have good and free education and healthcare for all, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday during the launch of a new OPD block at Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital in Civil Lines.

Inaugurating the new block, the CM said that his government has not only improved the quality of government hospitals but also made all healthcare services free. “Healthcare and education are the focus areas of the Delhi government and expansion is going on in a major way,” said Kejriwal, adding that there are currently around 10,000 beds at all city government-run hospitals put together.

The new OPD block consists of a three-storey building with 25 consultation rooms and has been completed at a cost of Rs 22.8 crore. It took nearly a year to complete construction.

Kejriwal said the older block lacked the required space and other facilities. “I visited the new block and noticed that it is spacious, centrally air-conditioned with availability of rooms for specialists. I interacted with a few patients and asked them about their well-being and they told me they traveled a long distance for better medical facilities. Earlier, doctors and patients had to face hardships in the OPD (Outpatient Department) for treatment due to lack of space in the older block,” he said.

He added that the construction of the new block will amount to an increase in footfall. “I came to know that the daily footfall at the OPD is 800-1,000, which is not very significant. With the construction of a new block, I am optimistic that the daily footfall should increase by 2-3 times,” he said.

“Until now, there used to be 10,000 beds in government hospitals, including all Delhi government hospitals. Now, 11 new hospitals are being constructed, and existing hospitals revamped. This will lead to the availability of an additional 16,000 new beds in Delhi government hospitals. Including private, central government, and Delhi government hospitals, we will cross the WHO’s norms and meet the international standards of the health care system in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.

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He added that festivals like Dussehra and Diwali are not very far in which we worship Lord Ram and ‘Ramrajya’ is always being discussed. “I don’t say that we can get close to ‘Ramrajya’, but if we were to hypothesise, then Ramrajya would certainly incorporate quality education and healthcare systems for free to everyone. Whether rich or poor, everyone should get quality education and healthcare facilities of the same standards. Our government is working towards it, and the construction of this new block is one step closer to the target. I want to congratulate the PWD and all doctors of AAAGH,” he added.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri challenged the Chief Minister’s claims and accused him of deceiving the people of the capital in the name of world-class health infrastructure. Bidhuri alleged the AAP Delhi government had not built a single new hospital over the last nine years and raked up images from the pandemic to bolster his allegation.

“It is worth noting that he (Kejriwal) was unable to complete even those hospitals that were approved before 2013… people should remember the dire situation during the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi when there was a severe shortage of hospital beds, doctors, medicines, ambulances, and oxygen,” the LOP said.

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