The Health and Family Welfare Department has issued strict instructions to all the Civil Surgeons to give priority to the cases of drug addiction and they have been made duty bound to admit the patient suffering from addiction and start the treatment as early as possible. In any reported case of dereliction of duty on the part of Civil Surgeon on this front, strict departmental action would be initiated against the erring Civil Surgeon.It was disclosed by Mr. Brahm Mohindra, Health and Family Welfare Minister in a press communiqué released here today. He said that the state Government is fully aware of the condition arising out of the spate in drug addiction cases and is prepare to discharge its moral and constitutional duty. “We do have sufficient staff as far as the de addiction centres are concerned besides adequate availability of essential medicines at all the de addiction/ rehab centres” he added.He said that since social stigma is attached with the drug addiction which prohibits public to openly come forward and get treatment in the government institutions. He said that any patient suffering from drug addiction and who is not willing for Indore admission may get daily dose from OOAT Clinics. Divulging on the concept of OOAT Clinics, he said that it is a comprehensive program envisaged by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to bring in qualitative improvement in the lives of youth suffering from drug addiction. He said that Outpatient Opioid assisted treatment (OOAT) programme was launched by the Health Department to provide outdoor health care services to the patients suffering from drug addiction.
Health Minister said that this programme was first launched as pilot project in Moga, Taran Taran and Amritsar on October 26, 2017 and after observing a patient retention rate of 85 percent, it was rolled over in whole of the State on May 17, 2018. He said that now around 81 OOAT clinics were being provided the healthcare services to the patients. He said that OPD based treatment for drug de-addiction through Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Clinics has been adopted and OOAT Clinics have been started up to Sub-divisional hospital level.He said that till date more than 8459 patients have been registered and are on treatment and patient retention rate currently is 84.05 percent whereas till date total footfall at OOAT clinics has been recorded as 274938.Mr. Brahm Mohindra said that central registry for online tracking of patients has been first time implemented in Punjab. Patient may take medicine from any of the functional OOAT Clinic and every patient is provided with UID number so that he may take his daily dose from a single clinic and duplicity is avoided. Any patient can resume their routine activities and go back to their family after taking daily dose from OOAT clinics. The Minister said that counseling services is also being provided to the patients at the OOAT clinics.Brahm Mohindra also appealed the general public especially the parents to voluntarily come forward and get their children examined at the government institutions, if they suspect their children indulged in drug addiction. He said that the early diagnosis and treatment of a drug addict is the simplest way to save the life of the patient.