In view of maintaining adequate stock of medicines in Health & Wellness Centres (HCWs), the Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu today flagged off a Medicine Delivery Van (MDV) at Paryas Bhawan Sector-38 Chandigarh. Community Health Officers (CHOs) have been assigned the responsibility to maintain the stock of medicines at their respective centres and they will soon be authorized to place the demand for medicines quarterly through online mode in advance from Warehouses.Disclosing this here on the occasion, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that to ensure the supply of medicines at HCWs, the Punjab Government has decided to make the supply of all 27 medicines to such centers directly from regional drug warehouse by MDV. He said that since March 2019, 79 lakh patients have been provided OPD services at HWCs which means on an average 21,643 OPDs conducted per day by CHOs.He pointed out that at present, block-level health centers are distributed the stock of medicines to all HCWs after getting it from the regional drug warehouses. This mechanism is not properly fulfilling the overall requirement of all the centers as per their demand. He said that to strengthen the OPD services and ensure the supply of medicines, the State government is going to cover all districts under this progamme in a phased manner as this MDV project is implemented in 70 HWCs of District SAS Nagar on a pilot basis, he added.Divulging about key features of MDV, Dr. Areet Kaur Director National Health Mission that now, CHOs have been assigned the responsibility to maintain the stock of medicines at their respective centres and soon, CHOs will be placed the demand for medicines quarterly through online mode in advance. Dedicated MDVs will then collect the medicines from the warehouse as per demand and supply it to the HWCs without any delay.Dr. Areet informed that State has operationalized 2820 HCWs which includes 2380 Sub Centres, 347 PHCs and 93 UPHCs. Punjab has already achieved the target of operationalizing 1435 HWCs given by Govt. of India for year 2020-21 (196% achievement). HCWs are proving to be pivotal force for Punjab’s Health Systems, especially in rural areas.The quantum of services delivered and the pace of implementation, inspire confidence that the programme is on track to realize the vision to deliver affordable Comprehensive Primary Health Care services closer to people She said adding that HCWs are also proved helpful to reduce the burden of Primary Health Centres and above health facilities.