In a bid to provide the best healthcare facilities to the people at the grass roots level, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the State health department to form a joint coordination committee under his chairmanship to find out a viable solution to the problems confronted by them besides further improving the health delivery system across the state.Addressing the doctors during an inaugural function of two days annual conference organized by IMA said here that this panel would give vital suggestions to the state government for providing the best healthcare and diagnostic facilities to the people at affordable rates. He also asked the Punjab Unit of IMA to recommend the names of those doctors who were rendering exceptionally outstanding medical and health services to the people for bestowing state awards to them in recognition with their superb services towards society during the state level functions organized on 26th January and 15th August. He also announced to rope in the services of eminent doctors from IMA for utilizing their expertise and vast experience in the government hospitals through providing them suitable remuneration, adding he said that the state health department would soon ink a MoU with the Punjab Unit of IMA in this regard.
Referring to the enactment of Clinical Establishment Act, Mr. Badal categorically said that any legislations related to agriculture, industry and medical & healthcare should ensure level playing field for all the stakeholders by taking them into confidence before the enactment of such laws by the Central government.The Chief Minister further said that undoubtedly the state government has already taken bold initiatives to provide the best medical and healthcare facilities to the people but even then the desired results could only be achieved with the dedicated participation of medical associations, doctors and voluntary organizations to achieve the mission of ‘health for all’ in the near future. Mr. Badal emphatically said that none should suffer for the want of proper treatment due to penury and thus it was obligatory on our part to provide the best healthcare and diagnostic facilities to the disadvantaged sections of the society. He called upon the IMA to play a proactive role to ensure the best treatment at affordable rates to the general public and hoped they would certainly come up to the expectations of the society in the larger public interest.
Listing the facilities being extended by the state government to the medical fraternity in order to give fillip to the medical education, the Chief Minister said that the state government had already enhanced the stipend of medical interns from Rs.4500 to Rs.9000 per month and honorarium of house surgeons from Rs.4800 to Rs.21000 per month.Showing deep concern over the ill effects of deadly diseases like Cancer and Hepatitis, the Chief Minister asked the doctors to intensify their efforts in the field of medical research to combat these fatal diseases which were taking a high toll of lives every year. He said that the state government had already declared war against cancer by taking several initiatives including to provide 118 drugs on affordable rates to the cancer patients besides giving a financial assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh to each patient inflicted with cancer from Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund. Till now nearly 27,163 patients had been extended this financial assistance to the tune of Rs.335 crore. Apart from this, two advanced cancer treatment centres, one Homi Bhabha Cancer Centre in the Government Hospital Sangrur in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital and another 100-bedded Advanced Cancer Research Centre at Bathinda. Likewise, a world class Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre would soon come up at Mullanpur (New Chandigarh) to provide the latest treatment and diagnostic facilities to the cancer patients.
Mr. Badal further mentioned that several essential medicines were being supplied at free of cost to the patients in all the government hospitals. Besides all the government employees and pensioners have been provided with the facility of cashless treatment in empanelled hospital across the state up to Rs.3 lakh. Mr. Badal also said that the state government had already spent Rs.350 crore to provide the best medical infrastructure in the government hospitals for which the Government of India has rated Punjab state as excellent in terms of medical infrastructure. Similarly, the state government had been conferred with “World No Tobacco Day Award” by World Health Organization (WHO's) for the year 2015 for prioritizing tobacco control and making rapid strides in tackling this epidemic with a comprehensive approach and many innovative interventions. Decks have already been cleared for setting up All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bathinda.
Lauding the IMA for organizing this conference, the Chief Minister hoped that the useful interaction during the course of proceedings would certainly go a long way to raise the standard of medical education in the state besides chalking out a strategy to provide the best medical facilities to the common man at affordable rates. He appreciated the efforts of IMA for sensitizing the medical fraternity to serve the suffering humanity with professional commitment and devotion. Pertinently, IMA is the biggest NGO, which has 2.5 lakh members in 23 states and seven union territories.Earlier, the outgoing President of Punjab Unit of IMA Dr. SPS Sooch welcomed the Chief Minister and apprised him about its activities and achievements. The Punjab Unit of IMA also elected Dr. PS Bakshi as its new President.
Later during an informal interaction with the media persons, the Chief Minister said that AAP was a party of fugitives which had no future in Punjab. He however said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has proved to be a biggest failure on all fronts and how such party could dare to befool the innocent electorate in Punjab. Asked to comment on the merger of PPP party headed by Manpreet Badal into Congress, the Chief Minister said that he failed to understand how a single person without anyone’s support could help the Congress party in improving its poll prospects in 2017. Hitting hard at Manpreet Badal, the Chief Minister said that how a person could succeed in his life without any ideology, principle or stand.Meanwhile, the National Secretary of IMA Dr. K.K. Agarwal and National Vice President Dr. OPS Kande also put forth the demands and certain issues of the association for the welfare of medical fraternity.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Chief Parliamentary Secretary Local Government Mr. Som Parkash, Chairman Markfed Mr. Jarnail Singh Wahad, Deputy Commissioner Kapurthala Mr. DS Mangat and SSP Kapurthala Mr. Rajinder Singh.