Smile Foundation, a national-level development organisation, on Thursday launched its second innovative mobile hospital in Delhi and the National Capital Region for providing comprehensive health care services to marginalised communities at their doorstep.

“Smile on Wheels” is a health care van that will provide medical treatment and check up to the needy, particularly children and women. A full-time doctor and para-medical staff will travel in a van equipped with electro-cardio gram and X-ray with dark room. The van will ply in Kalyanpuri, Khichripur, Trilokpuri and Dallupura areas of East Delhi and Noida.

Flagging off the van at the Constitution Club here, Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre CEO Sanjeev Bagai pointed out that 80 per cent of the health care in our country is privately driven, 40 per cent of children under five years are malnourished and over a million deaths are reported annually. “In such a staggering scenario, the initiative by Smile Foundation will bridge the gap and help in facilitating affordable, accessible and accurate health care services to all sections of society.”

“With a population of 1.2 billion people, providing health care services to every citizen is a Herculean task. We need more than 7 lakh beds in hospitals. Therefore, the government must work in partnership with private hospitals,” said Dr. Bagai, a senior paediatrician.

Pointing out that the mobile van will be operated by her Noida-based foundation ‘A Ray Of Hope', its president Neelam Gupta said Smile on Wheels would bring affordable, integrated, clinically-advanced and quality health care services within the reach of under-privileged people in urban slums and rural areas of Delhi and Noida.

“The urbanised slums in East Delhi and Noida are thickly populated and lacking in infrastructure. People are living in small shabby rooms and health care provided by private hospitals is beyond their reach. We will provide free health care service and tie up with some private hospitals to provide treatment to patients in an advanced stage,” added Dr. Gupta.

Talking on the role of public-private partnerships to cater to the needs of society, Smile Foundation Director Operations Nandan Sahay said the mobile hospital was a means to reach out to the deprived sections of society who suffer in silence. “Most of them are migrants who come with infection or some disease that later on becomes full blown. We also want to create awareness about various diseases through the mobile van,” he said.

More In: Delhi