In an effort to provide better medical care to people, Delhi Government today decided to bring diagnostic facilities in 20 of its hospitals under PPP mode. Health Minister A K Walia, making the announcement, said the government has decided to rope in private entities to ensure better utilisation of resources and improve service delivery to the patients. He said the hospitals will provide diagnostic and laboratory facilities under new system for 24 hours and seven days a week and there will be provision for free facilities from below poverty line families. Walia said the process for procurement, installation and operation of eight CT scan machines, five MRI machines, five Dexa scan machines and six Mammography machines for major hospitals was in advanced stage. These systems will be maintained and operated by private entities, Walia said adding the new arrangement will involve an initial expenditure of Rs 75 crore and an annual operating expenses of Rs 70 crore. The minister said the decision to involve private sector was taken also to ensure that patients are not required to wait for long periods for various medical investigations. “There will be provision for free treatment of patients from below poverty line families,” he said adding compliance of operating norms by private entities will be monitored by elaborate administrative mechanism. “It will be binding on the part of the selected partners to obtain certification of National Accreditation Board of Medical Imaging Services (NABMIS) within a year of installation of various devices to ensure quality of services,” he said. Walia said government has adopted the cluster model of service delivery under which under which a lead hospital will provide various advanced diagnostic facilities such as CT scan, MRI, Dexa Scan and Memmography facilities to smaller hospitals. The first cluster will include Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital and Bhagwan Mahavir which will cover six hospitals of North West Delhi. The second cluster with Deen Dayal Upadhyay as lead Hospital will also cover six hospitals of West and South West Delhi. The third cluster with Dr. Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan as lead Hospital will cover eight hospitals covering North East, East and Central Delhi. Walia hoped that the new arrangements will bring in costly diagnostic facilities within the reach of patients of all categories.