To strengthen the healthcare services in the rural areas across the state, the Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu handed over appointment letters to 519 newly appointed Community Health Officers (CHO) during a function at Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) auditorium here.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu called upon the newly appointed officers to come forward and live up to their responsibilities at Health and Wellness centers. Congratulating them, the minister said that it is essential to maintain peoples’ confidence and faith in public health services and it can only be achieved through their determination and dedication towards the patients. He said that Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has accorded high priority to the public health sector and quality healthfacilities are being provided to the people under the various health programs and schemes launched by the state government. He said the standardized health services in HWCs are being provided through Community Health Officer (CHO) along with team of Multi-Purpose Health Workers (male and female) & ASHAs.
He said that the newly selected officers have been imparted a special training program of 6 months by IGNOU. Notably, 861 sub-centres have already been converted into HWCs and 422 Community Health officers have been posted in these centers. He said that now state will have a pool of 941 CHOs working in HWC-Sub centers.
Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu further said that in the next phase, these Health and Wellness centers would be linked with first of its kind ‘Tele-Medicine Network System’ from where healthcare and treatment services of specialists would be provided through the multi-specialty hospitals and medical colleges. He also said that presently, on an average one lakh patients are being treated in a month at the Wellness centers and around 23 lakh patients have received preventive, rehabilitative and curative health care services for various diseases so far.Giving out details about this flagship program of the state, the minister said that the Punjab government has chalked out a program to convert all the 2650 sub-centers of Health Department into Health and Wellness centers (HWC) in a phased manner by 2021.
Amongst other prominent persons present on the occasion included Secretary cum Mission Director National Health Mission Mr. Kumar Rahul, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation Mr Manvesh Singh Sidhu, Political Secretary to Health Minister Mr. Harkesh Chand Sharma, Director Health Services Dr. Avneet Kaur, Director Family Welfare Dr. Rita Bhardwaj, OSD to Health Minister Dr. Balwinder Singh, State program officer Dr Areet Kaur, Civil surgeon Mohali Manjit Singh. – Medical Dialogues