Health Minister Punjab, Balbir Singh Sidhu today issued appointment letters to 117 new Community Health Officers (CHOs). While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sidhu said that Punjab is a leading state in the country in operationalization of Health & Wellness Centers in Country as a total 2700 Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) are already operationalized in the rural areas of the state. He said that HWCs have been able to perform effectively in terms of facilitating delivery of healthcare services in rural areas with the appointment of Community Health Officers.Giving further details, he said that 300 more candidates have also been selected to undergo a special training programme of 6 months by IGNOU and will be recruited as Community Health Officers by January 2022. Telemedicine services, 27 Essential medicines and 6 Diagnostics tests are being provided at these centers to support the expanded range of services.
Highlighting services being provided at HWCs, Health Minister said that CHOs have become the backbone of Health department in rural areas during COVID 19 pandemic lockdown. CHOs and HWC’s team proved to be of great benefit to the rural population in providing the OPD services and COVID related services. They are involved in COVID sampling, contact tracing, home visits of positive patients under quarantine etc. Now, COVID vaccination is also being provided at all the health and wellness centres of the state.To provide coverage to the vulnerable and marginalized in the urban areas of the state, Govt. of Punjab is planning to set up Urban Health and wellness centers especially in peri urban and slum areas to increase geographic reach he said adding that HWCs will be a game changer to increase health system responsiveness to people by brining services closer to communities.The special focus of HWCs is on screening people for chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, asthma etc. and provides medicines for the same, he said.