Team Parvasi – Inside


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CHANDIGARH: Terming the international recognition to the Punjab Government’s healthcare model ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics’ as a proud moment for India, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Tuesday once again appealed the Central Government to release the Ayushman Funds, which has been accumulated to the tune of Rs 621 crores. Notably, the Central Government has stopped releasing grants to the Punjab state under the Ayushman Scheme since December 2022.
Pertinently, the Department of Health and Family Welfare Punjab has received first prize for its submission titled “Strengthening last mile delivery of drugs: A case study from Punjab” in the Global Health Supply Chain Summit held in Nairobi from November 14-16. Of total 85 countries that participated in the summit, at least 40 countries have evinced keen interest in visiting Punjab to see the Aam Aadmi Clinics and understand how 84 essential drugs and 40 plus diagnostics are being made available closer to households and without any cost to the patients.
“If delegates from 40 countries want to come here to see our healthcare model to replicate in their countries, the Centre Government should also support us and should release the funds for the welfare of the people,” said Dr Balbir Singh, while adding that the Punjab Government has even written a letter to the Central Government to consider the Aam Aadmi Clinics as a state scheme and won’t use Ayushman funds for this scheme.
The Health Minister, however, said that there is no dearth of funds from Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann to upgrade the healthcare facilities in the state. “Our CM Saab has always asked me not to worry about funds and just focus on the upgradation of healthcare infrastructure and ensure that nobody should face any kind of hassle in availing any treatment at government hospitals,” he said.
He said that 100 more Aam Aadmi Clinics are ready to be thrown open to the public, while the Chief Minister has also given the go-ahead to set up 70 additional Aam Aadmi Clinics at underserved Kandi areas including Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Gurdaspur. To ensure the availability of medicines at Government Health Facilities, the Chief Minister has also given approval to purchase medicines, he said, while adding that nobody will have to purchase medicines from private pharmacies.
Dr Balbir Singh said that an amount of Rs 550 crores is being spent for the upgradation of around 40 secondary care health facilities including district, sub-divisional hospitals and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The upgraded buildings of all the hospitals will be equipped with ultra-modern medical facilities including Intensive Care Units (ICUs), Ventilators, X-rays, Ultrasound, etc and people no more have to visit private hospitals to avail world-class healthcare facilities, he added.
Pertinently, there are 664 Aam Aadmi Clinics— 236 in urban areas and 428 in Rural areas— functioning in the state and all of them are IT-enabled with end-to-end digitisation of registration, doctor consultation, investigations, and prescriptions. This results in a five-step patient journey and thus reduced turnout time from patient registration to prescription. Over 70 lakh patients have availed free treatment at these clinics so far.


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