arvind kejriwal
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Feb 14, 2019IANS

Expressing concern over the pressure on Delhi hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people from across the country come to the national capital for availing medical facilities, but the place has its own limitations.

Citing an example of patients from Bihar availing the facilities in Delhi hospitals free of cost, Kejriwal said: "One person from Bihar buys a ticket to Delhi for Rs 500, returns after availing treatment worth Rs 5 lakh. While this makes us happy that these are the people of our country, Delhi has its own capacity. How can Delhi serve the people of the entire country, so there is a need for improving the healthcare facilities across the nation."

The Delhi CM was speaking at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Mangolpuri area.

He laid the foundation on Sunday of a new 362-bed trauma centre at the hospital, will have ICU, emergency beds and six operation theatres.  It is expected to be ready in 18 months.

Speaking at the occasion, he said his government's healthcare services matched the standards provided by the US, Denmark, and Japan, "the most progressive societies in the world".

"Denmark has universal healthcare coverage for all, every patient, rich or poor, can access free treatments in all the hospitals. We are matching the most progressive societies in the world like Denmark, USA and Japan, in terms of providing quality healthcare to the people," said Kejriwal.

"Ordinarily large government hospitals across the country are constructed at a cost of Rs 1 crore per bed. This hospital should have cost Rs 362 crore but the Delhi government is constructing it in just Rs 71 crore," he added.

He later took to Twitter to say that the Delhi government will use the saved money for the welfare of the people. "We have saved Rs 290 crore in just one project (the trauma centre). If I use this money to make medicines, treatment and tests free for the people of Delhi, is it wrong? The Opposition claims we are wasting money by providing free healthcare to people," he wrote.