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After Centre stops Rs 650 crore funds, Punjab mulls to open PHCs

Unable to bear the high cost of opening Aam Aadmi Clinics (AACs) in place of Primary Health Centres (PHCs), the state government seems to have started taking a complete U-turn and is exploring possibilities of again opening the PHCs on the same premises.

According to sources, the issue came up for discussion in a meeting of Civil Surgeons chaired by Director, Health Services, over video conference last week. In the meeting, the Civil Surgeons were asked to share details if there was availability of any additional land in the vicinity of AACs, so that the possibility of reopening PHCs could be explored.

Earlier, around 400 PHCs were converted into AACs, following which the Centre’s National Health Mission (NHM) had lodged a strong protest with the government and had stopped the Central share of Rs 650 crore NHM funds for the financial year 2022-23 and 2023-24.

A senior health functionary said that since the Centre had refused to reconsider its decision, the state government was left with no option except restoring the PHCs.

Earlier, around 400 PHCs were converted into AACs, following which the Centre’s National Health Mission (NHM) had lodged a strong protest with the government and had stopped the Central share of Rs 650 crore NHM funds for the financial year 2022-23 and 2023-24.

A senior health functionary said that since the Centre had refused to reconsider its decision, the state government was left with no option except restoring the PHCs

Earlier, doctors from PHCs were deployed in urban AACs. The move had faced strong resentment from residents of rural areas.

The bone of contention

  • The name Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres had been changed to Aam Aadmi Clinics
  • The outer surface of the buildings should have been painted yellow but the state changed it as per own convenience
  • The building, doors and windows should have communication graphics in circles but the state had put CM Mann’s photograph

Tribune India

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