Amid the escalating Covid crisis in the state, the Punjab Cabinet on Thursday gave post-facto approval for the procurement of hospital material and consumables worth Rs. 152.56 crore by the departments of Health & Family Welfare, Medical Education & Research and Police, for effective management of Covid.It also approved recruitment of 250 MBBS medical officers in the Health Department, against existing vacant regular posts through Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, after taking the recruitment process out of the purview of Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). Of these, 192 medical officers have been given their appointment letters today. These posts of 250 Medical Officers (MBBS) in the Health department has fallen vacant from 01.10.2020 to 30.04.2021 due to promotion/retirement/resignation.The decisions were announced by an official spokesperson after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh through video conferencing this afternoon. The Chief Minister made it clear that when it comes to saving the lives of people, funds will never be allowed to become a constraint.
The spokesperson said the procurement decision was based on the recommendation of the Health Sector Response Committee, notified by the state government on March 28, 2020 under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Governance Reforms and subsequently chaired by Adviser, Health & Medical Education Dr. K.K. Talwar. The committee was mandated to assess and review all requirements of personal protection equipment, material and infrastructure for the departments of Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education & Research.Basis the recommendation, the three departments have procured Nitrile Gloves, Pulse Oximeter, Surgical Gloves, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections, PPE kits, N-95 mask, Triple Layer Mask, Rapid Antigen Kits, VTM Kits, Covid Care Kit, Oxygen Cylinders, Medicines, Equipment, Hand Sanitizer, True Nat Kits and other hospital consumables.The decisions come amid spiralling Covid cases, currently standing at over 9000 on an average in a single day.Briefing the cabinet, Health Secretary Hussan Lal said work on two makeshift hospitals in Mohali and Bathinda (with 100-bed capacity each) had started, as part of the state government’s plans to scale up L2 and L3 bed capacity in government and private hospitals by 2000 by the end of this month.