Chandigarh, Feb 24 (UNI) As many as 620 dispensaries in Punjab were at present without a single doctor, while 172 deaths due to cancer were reported in Muktsar district alone in the last two years, Punjab Health Minister Ramesh Chander Dodger today said.
Informing this during question hour in the Punjab Assembly here, Mr Ramesh Chander said the state government would soon recruit doctors in the Health department to cover up this shortfall.
He said that at present the doctors were being sent on deputation to the dispensaries with no permanent doctor as per the demand.
''During the last Akali-BJP regime, these dispensaries were completely non-functional, but we (the present Congress government) have made these health centres functional to an extent by sending the doctors to the neglected and remote areas,'' Mr Ramesh Chander said.
The highest number of 102 dispensaries were without a single doctor in Sangrur district alone, while such dispensaries in other districts were 79 in Gurdaspur, 71 in Ferozepur, 59 in Amritsar, 54 in Bathinda, 50 in Moga, 41 in Mansa, 35 in Muktsar, 27 in Hoshiarpur, 22 in Faridkot, 18 in Ludhiana, 14 in Patiala, 13 in Nawanshahar, nine each in Jalandhar and Kapurthala, eight in Fatehgarh Sahib and seven in Ropar.
Besides, 135 Ayurveda dispensaries were also without doctors in various districts of the state, Mr Ramesh Chander added.
Responding to another question, he informed the House that as many as 172 cancer deaths were reported in Muktsar district from 2004 onwards.
Mr Manpreet Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, who raised the question about the cancer deaths, said the number was much higher as 201 people in his Gidderbaha assembly constituency alone had either died or were fighting death due to cancer.
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