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Punjab sets up 500 Aam Aadmi Clinics
Just before the Assembly elections, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal gave a guarantee to the people of Punjab that every village in the state would get a new mohalla clinic. “There will be a need to open 16,000 mohalla clinics in Punjab,” he said.
Kejriwal said treatment, even if it cost Rs 70 to 80 lakh, was completely free in hospitals of the Delhi Government. “We will give same facilities to the people of Punjab,” he said.
Though the Punjab Government has been claiming that health is its biggest priority, it is this sector which has remained the most unstable, with the state getting four Health Ministers in a year.
Following corruption charges, Vijay Singla was the first to lose the health portfolio in May last year. After this, the portfolio remained with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for almost one-and-a-half months before Chetan Singh Jouramajra was appointed the Health Minister in the first week of July. However, within a month, he courted controversy when he allegedly humiliated eminent spine surgeon Dr Raj Bahadur, who was serving as the Vice Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. Jouramajra was replaced by Dr Balbir Singh early this year.
The impact of frequent changes at the top was visible on the functioning of the department. The government had promised to open 16,000 mohalla clinics in the state, but it opened 500 Aam Aadmi Clinics to boost the sector.
Poor planning was visible during the hasty launch of 400 clinics in January, when by relocating the staff from rural and urban health institutions, the government botched up the smooth-running OPDs and emergency services.
A positive that could be counted as an achievement was that with the regular supply of medicines and free diagnostic facilities, the clinics have given new energy to the state’s healthcare service.
Irked over converting Health Wellness Centres into Aam Aadmi Clinics, the Centre had threatened Punjab to stop funding to the tune of Rs 546 crore for the National Health Mission.
- Launch of 500 Aam Aadmi clinics
- New Punjab Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences at SAS Nagar
- Increase in health budget
- Ouster and arrest of Health Minister Vijay Singla
- Row over ‘misbehaviour’ with ex-VC Dr Raj Bahadur
- The Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana remains in doldrums
- Mass transfers of doctors from rural areas to mohalla clinics
- The Centre threatens to stop funding under NHM
4 ministers in a year
Vijay Singla was the first to lose the health portfolio in May last year. Following this, the portfolio remained with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for almost one and a half month before Chetan Singh Jouramajra was appointed the Health Minister in first week of July. Jouramajra was replaced by Dr Balbir Singh early this year. Tribune India