Chandigarh, Nov 21 , Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh on Tuesday appealed to the Central government to release Ayushman funds of Rs 621 crore.
The Centre has reportedly stopped grants under the Ayushman Scheme since December 2022.
Pertinently, the Department of Health and Family Welfare received first prize for its submission titled “Strengthening last mile delivery of drugs: A case study from Punjab” in the Global Health Supply Chain Summit held in Nairobi from November 14-16.
Of the total 85 countries that participated in the summit, at least 40 countries have evinced keen interest in visiting Punjab to see the Aam Aadmi Clinics and understand how 84 essential drugs and 40-plus diagnostics are being made available closer to households and without any cost to the patients, AAP said.
“If delegates from 40 countries want to come here to see our healthcare model to replicate in their countries, the Centre should also support us and should release the funds for the welfare of the people,” said Singh, adding that the state government has even written to the Centre to consider the Aam Aadmi Clinics as a state scheme.
“Our CM (Bhagwant Mann) has always asked me not to worry about funds and just focus on the upgradation of healthcare infrastructure and ensure that nobody faces any kind of hassle in availing any treatment at government hospitals,” he said.
Singh said 100 more Aam Aadmi Clinics are ready to be thrown open to the public, while the Chief Minister has also given go-ahead to set up 70 additional Aam Aadmi Clinics at underserved Kandi areas, including Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Gurdaspur.
To ensure the availability of medicines at government health facilities, the Chief Minister has also given approval to purchase medicines, Singh said, adding that nobody will have to purchase medicines from private pharmacies.
Singh also said that Rs 550 crore is being spent for the upgradation of around 40 secondary care health facilities, including district, sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres.