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Chandigarh: Terming the Punjab Budget 2024-25 presented by Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema as very positive and progressive, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh said that the enhanced allocation of budget in Health and Medical Education and Research sectors will not only ensure world-class healthcare facilities in the state but will also help in producing doctors, nurses and medical staff. An allocation of ₹5,264 crore for the Health sector and ₹1,133 crore for the Medical Education and Research sector has been provisioned in the budget of FY 2024-25.

          Dr Balbir Singh said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led the Punjab Government has been working tirelessly to strengthen healthcare facilities, besides, establishing new medical colleges and super-speciality hospitals in the state.

          He said that in just 23 months, the Punjab Government has established 829 Aam Aadmi Clinics in the State and many more are in the pipeline. An allocation of ₹249 crore has been earmarked in FY 2024-25 for strengthening this revolutionary initiative further, he added.

          Pertinently, as many as 80 types of medicines and 38 diagnostic lab tests are being provided free of cost at these clinics. As of now, more than 1 crore patients have availed treatment and more than 31 lakh diagnostic lab tests have been conducted.

          The Health Minister said that the Punjab Government has also launched the ambitious Farishtey Scheme with the intent of lowering the morbidity rates resulting from injuries sustained in road accidents and providing immediate, hassle-free treatment in the available Government/empanelled private hospitals. Additionally, to encourage common people to come forth and help accident victims and save the lives of the victims, such “Farishtey” would be incentivized with cash rewards, given commendation certificates and provided immunity from legal complications and police inquiries, he said.

          “In less than one month, as many as 574 road accident victims were hospitalised under the Farishtey scheme and provided free treatment,” said the Health Minister, while adding that Sadak Surakhiya Force has also played a pivotal role in providing first aid and taking road accident victims to the hospitals.

          He said that three district hospitals including Ludhiana, Sangrur and Jalandhar are being upgraded, while, ₹150 crore has been provisioned for undertaking different infrastructure upgradation in the remaining 20 District Hospitals in a gradual manner. In addition, strengthening of Rural Hospitals and Sub Divisional Hospital at Cheema, Kauhrian, Dhuri (Sangrur) and SAS Nagar (Mohali) is also underway.

Meanwhile, construction of the Medical College of 100 MBBS seats each at Mastuana Sahib, Sangrur; Kapurthala, Malerkotla and Hoshiarpur are expected to start in FY 2024-25. Pertinently, the Punjab Government has already established the State Cancer Institute at Government Medical College in Amritsar at a cost of ₹114 crore and the Tertiary Cancer Center at Fazilka worth ₹45 crore has been constructed. The Punjab Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences at SAS Nagar (Mohali) has also been completed



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