Free surgery in private hospitals if waiting list long: Kejriwal

New Delhi


Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday that Delhi residents won't have to wait much for life-saving surgeries in government hospitals as they can get them done for free in private ones.

Kejriwal said if any patient doesn't get a date for surgery at a government hospital within one month, the hospital would refer them to private hospitals and the government would pay all the expenses.

"We want to ensure that people, irrespective of their economic status, get best health and education facilities and this is a step in that direction," the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.

He added that this was third in a series of initiatives taken by the Delhi government, after ensuring free medicines in all government hospitals and allowing free medical tests at private diagnostic centres.

"Health services are so expensive today that if anyone suffers from a serious ailment, the biggest worry for the family is not the health of the patient, but where would the money come from," Kejriwal said while announcing the scheme.

"But now there is no need to worry as the Delhi government would ensure that the patient gets best treatment free of cost," he said.

To criticism that the money paid to private hospitals for treatment could be used to augment government ones, Kejriwal said the government hospitals would receive as much money as needed to boost their infrastructure.

"But it would take years to create that infrastructure while patients need immediate attention. So this step is aimed to provide immediate relief on a temporary basis," he said.

"We want to create such healthcare system that all patients get all medical tests within the hospitals and get dates for surgeries within a month. But till that time, such steps are necessary." - IANS