Healthcare in city goes to dogs

Healthcare in city goes to dogs

The national capital is in the grip of a health crisis with the outbreak of deadly dengue and chikungunya, aggravated by seasonal viral fever spreading panic among the citizens who find their leaders either slamming each other on prime time TV debates or on foreign junkets in the name of ministerial study tours and mayoral conferences. Barring his medical call in Bengaluru for a few days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has no justification for staying away from Delhi, either to fire-fight crisis in his party in Punjab or to improve the Aam Aadmi Party’s electoral prospects in Goa. It is not that a chief minister cannot leave his state for political duties elsewhere, there should not be any vacuum left in the administration making people suffer. Worse was absence of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who justified his Finland tour for improving the lot of education in Delhi. Sure, you must go on important official visits abroad, but not when there is an epidemic at home. To that extent, Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung cannot be faulted for asking Sisodia to return from Finland.

But even Najeeb Jung is not doing a great service to the citizens of Delhi by getting into the constitutionality of every other thing that is done by the Delhi government. Rather than examining 400 files relating to decisions taken by the AAP government, the L-G should have held at least a meeting with the chief minister on every alternate day, if not daily, to gear the entire establishment against fighting the epidemics. Every other household in Delhi has someone or the other suffering from chikungunya, dengue, malaria or viral fever.

The official numbers of a few thousands of confirmed cases can be regarded as under-reportage, given the kind of absenteeism from work places, schools and colleges.  
The worst affected are the poor who have no resources to pay for expensive medical tests, medicines and nutritious food, while the government hospitals are overflowing with patients. If anyone stands out as heroes, it is the overworked doctors and nurses in the government hospitals who must be saluted for their spirit of service. It is only after an outrage among the public that different municipal corporations, the Delhi government, the chief minister and the deputy chief minister have woken up to tackle the health crisis on “a war footing.” Plans are now being announced to buy more fogging machines, as if mosquitoes would wait for the official tenders to get finalised! This should have been done before monsoon. The “war footing” response is possible only if LG-AAP war is stopped.

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