After his visit to the primary health centers (Mohalla clinic) operated by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao called them ‘not a game-changer’, stating that they are not as revolutionary as they are portrayed. Rao compared this initiative to similar models in southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, emphasising that these clinics are not as groundbreaking as they are being presented. He said, "It (clinics) is not like the way it is made out to be."
“The way it's being projected, there are so many other states, including Karnataka, where we have a better system…we have namma clinics…and we are doing things in a much better manner,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Gundu Rao was welcomed by CM Kejriwal
Arriving in the capital earlier in the day, Gundu Rao received a warm welcome from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. With the intention of understanding the implementation of health policies by the AAP government in Delhi, the Karnataka minister expressed his curiosity about the mohalla clinics, which he had heard much about.
During his visit, Rao was accompanied by Delhi's Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj and other officials. Bharadwaj lauded Rao's inspection of the health facilities, as it could contribute to enhancing Karnataka's "namma clinic" concept.
Nevertheless, nearly an hour following the tour, Gundu Rao took to X (previously known as Twitter) to express his disappointment. He conveyed that his visit left him underwhelmed, citing a lack of patients at the clinic and asserting that healthcare facilities in Karnataka surpass those he observed during the visit.
“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,” he wrote.
AAP MLA hits back
In response to Gundu Rao's comment, AAP MLA Naresh Balyan strongly rebuked him and offered a critical assessment of the "namma clinic" facility in a post shared on X.
“The namma clinic you were talking about, Crocin medicine is also not available in the clinic. Don't know how many years it has been closed. The game you are playing at the behest of (Congress leader Ajay) Maken, in this game we defeated Maken 10 years ago,” Balyan wrote.
It's worth mentioning that the Congress and AAP are constituents of the recently established political coalition of Opposition parties known as the INDIA bloc.