DMK vs ADMK: How did the decision to shut down Amma mini-clinics stir a dispute?

The DMK government's decision to shut down the Amma mini-clinics in Tamil Nadu had stirred a fresh round of dispute with the party's rival ADMK, as the healthcare system was established by the previous ADMK regime as part of the league of Jayalalithaa's flagship projects. On Tuesday - January 4, the DMK ruling Tamil Nadu government has announced that the clinics will be closed and the ADMK had called the decision of closing as a political vendetta. 

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian has announced that the Amma Mini-clinics would be shut down in the state. He said that the clinics will be shut down due to their non-performance. He further said that the doctors attached to these clinics will be filled in to other vacancies. He said, "The clinics were a one-year temporary scheme and 1,280 doctors were appointed. There were no nurses, the clinics were installed at the buildings that were functioning for different purposes."

"The services of those doctors who had been appointed to Amma mini-clinics were utilized during the second wave of the Covid pandemic. Even now, their services have been extended till March 2022 for Covid-19 related duties", the minister added. He alleged that no one was actually receiving treatment at Amma mini-clinics and highlighted that the DMK government schemes like 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam', 'Inniyur Kaapom' had the data of persons who were provided treatments but Amma mini-clinics have no such data.

However, following the DMK government's decision to shut down the clinics, the opposition ADMK had slammed the ruling regime for deciding to close the clinics. In a statement, ADMK's Chief Coordinator O Panneerselvam said that the DMK's politics of vendetta was the main reason behind the shutting down of the Amma clinics rather than non-performance. He said the DMK government has also shut down the Amma canteens that were established by the previous ADMK government.

Another ADMK leader Edappadi Palaniswami has said that the decision of closing down the clinics is highly condemnable. He added that through this decision, the DMK government has shown that it doesn't care about the welfare of the downtrodden.  He said, "Amma mini-clinics were opened with the sole intention to help poor people in rural and urban areas get treatment near to their residence. The DMK government, with a political vendetta, has decided to close them as the scheme has Amma's (Jayalalithaa) name." 

Amma mini-clinics were launched on December 14, 2020, by the previous ADMK government in memory of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. There were 2,000 Amma mini-clinics across the state and 1,500 doctors were recruited to run these clinics. After Covid-19 cases soared during 2021, the doctors of these clinics were transferred to the government medical colleges to treat and attend Covid-19 patients.