Chandigarh: Punjab Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Wednesday launched a stinging attack and termed the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s statement on Aam Aadmi Clinics frivolous and baseless.
He said the BJP government at the Centre was baffled of Punjab’s health revolution due to this the Union Health Minister is trying to mislead the people by lying on the health system of Punjab.
Presenting the facts about Aam Aadmi Clinics, during a press conference at Punjab Bhawan on Wednesday, the Health Minister accused the central government of step-motherly treatment and giving insufficient funds.
He said that for the National Health Mission, the central government has to pay 60% of the money and the states have to invest 40%. For this, out of the total 1114 crores, the Center had to give 668 crores, but the central government sanctioned only 438 crores. Likewise, the Punjab government was to spend Rs 445 crore but the government had spent Rs 618 crore. Questioning the intention of the union minister, the cabinet minister said that Centre gave less than 40% of the money and we spent more than 60%.
The Health Minister said that the health system of Punjab is number one in the country. After the formation of the AAP government in Punjab under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, there have been revolutionary changes in the health system and the condition of health facilities has improved tremendously.
During the previous governments, there were no proper doctors, medicines, no tests in health centres. Apart from this, there were many scams in the health department including a sanitizer and mask scam, which led to loss of crore to government exchequer. At the same time, after the formation of the AAP government, doctors are sitting regularly in the Aam Aadmi Clinic and examining hundreds of doctors daily.
Pharmacists and lab technicians are present in the clinics. Patients are being treated well. Medicines are available and more than 40 types of tests are being done at free of cost. The number of OPDs has also increased almost four times compared to earlier.
He said that when the central government did not find any issue of shortage in Aam Aadmi Clinics, it is questioning its branding. For this, the Health Minister gave the example of previous governments and said that during the Captain government, the branding of ‘Ayush Bima Yojana’ was done by putting Captain’s name and his picture. Similarly, during SAD government, there was a photo of Parkash Singh Badal on the bicycle. Why didn’t the Centre object at that time? At that time, the PHC was also in a dilapidated condition, then why was there no talk of stopping the fund?
He challenged the Union Health Minister to send central teams to both Punjab and BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and get health facilities examined. The truth will be ascertained that how much better the health system of Punjab is than UP. He said Punjab was the only state in the country where more PHCs were functioning than the target. In other states, there are locks hanging or there is an scarcity of doctors.
The Health Minister said that mohalla clinic is working exceptionally and people are extremely satisfied with its facilities. In the coming days, we will launch the Farishta scheme in Punjab. Under this, if a person unfortunately met with a road accident, then any person can take him to the nearest hospital. All the expenses of the treatment will be borne by the Punjab government.
Apart from this, 24-hour emergency services will start in all health centers of Punjab. For this, more than one thousand house surgeons and specialist doctors will be appointed. These doctors will also provide 24-hour emergency health facilities to people.