Punjab to raise fund for free treament of poor patients

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Amritsar, Feb 1 (UNI) The Punjab Government will raise a dedicated fund to the tune of Rs 400-500 crore for the free treatment and care of poor patients in the state.

'' We are fully alive to the situation that most of the people in the rural areas were living in penury and costly treatment for the ailments like cancer, heart disease were beyond their means'' Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said after inagurating the Guru Ramdas Centre for Emergency, Trauma and Multi-speciality block of the Government Medical College here yesterday.

He announced that the prestigious 116-year old Government Medical College would be upgraded and made into one of the most modernised medical institutions in the country.

He pointed out that the entire medical college would be given a facelift by adding new blocks to existing ones, installing new medical equipments and strengthening the manpower.

He emphasised the need to reverse the trend of preferring private medical institutions over government institutions and said that this could only be achieved by reposing confidence and faith amongst the public through better service, caring and sense of belongingness.

The Chief Minister further said that the government had embarked upon an ambitious programme to upgrade all the three government medical colleges in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot in a phased manner. He said an amount of Rs 200 crore had been earmarked for strengthening the infrastructure of the Amritsar and Faridkot collegs, in the first phase and therefter attention would be turned to the Patiala college.

Responding to the demands put forth by the medical fraternity, Mr Badal announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the computerisation of the library. He also asked the Directorate of Medical Education and Research to immediately move a comprehensive proposal for sending bright medical graduates abroad specialisation in their respective fields.

He also announced to set up a nursing college within the premises of the local medical college as an integrated development and extension programme of the institute.

The Chief Minister also mentioned that the government had chalked out a programme for developing the Holy City into a hub of religious and medical tourism.

Speaking on the occasion Medical Education and Research Minister Tikshan Sud said that eye-banks would be registered in all the three government medical colleges of Punjab and soon 75 eye collection centres would be set in the state. A Medical Directorate for Ayurveda and a University for Ayurveda is also on the cards, he added.

On the occasion, Mr Badal released the souvenir of the Amritsar district branch of Indian Red Cross Society and also the concept plan for the modernisation of local medical college prepared by the Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation.

UNI HS VN RC VC0935

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