Punjab launches free health care scheme for BPL families

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Fazilka (Punjab), Nov 11: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today launched a cashless health care scheme for BPL families, which would provide free medical services of up to Rs 30,000 per annum.

Under the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna (BPSSBY), the beneficiaries will be issued smart cards, which will enable them to avail free medical services, the Chief Minister said, adding that his government has roped in leading insurance firms to implement the scheme in the state.

Underscoring the need to provide quality health care to people, Badal, addressing a gathering here, said his government was committed to make Punjab a disease-free state. The government has spent Rs 350 crore to upgrade health infrastructure in the state and priority has been laid on cancer treatment, he said.

Badal said a state-of-the-art cancer hospital is coming up at Mullanpur near Chandigarh on the lines of Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai and the government has allotted 50 acres of land for the purpose.

A 100-bed cancer hospital at Bathinda will also become operational by early next year, he said. On the rising menace of drug addiction in Punjab, Badal said the central security agencies have completely failed to check the "unabated supply of drugs from across the border".

He urged the Centre to take immediate steps to check the supply of drugs through Rajasthan. Blaming the Congress for the poor condition of the state as well as the country, the Chief Minister urged the people to throw the Congress out of power at the Centre in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

It was high time that the Congress-led UPA government be shown the door, else people of the state would have to suffer again for next five years, he said. Badal said his government would allot Rs 5 crore for each Assembly segment of the state for development activities. Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the scheme would benefit the poor who could not afford quality treatment due to their poor economic condition.


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