Medicity in Punjab on sound footing

As the state of Punjab moves upward on the growth trajectory, there is no doubt about the fact that the Medicity sector in the state is on sound footing, owing to the long – term objectives of the Shiromani Akali DalBJP government.

Medicity in Punjab on sound footingThe finance minister of the state, Parminder Singh Dhindsa road mapped a project of Rs. 21,174 crore for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year, which certainly was a Medicity friendly budget.  The state skill development mission shall set up Multi Skill Development Centers at Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Ropar in order to cope up with the short-term skill development needs of the State. The Mission also comprised of setting up three Skill Development Centers in the Health Sector at Medical Colleges in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot.

Under the assistance of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the state government proposed the setting up of Medicity near Mullanpur in Mohali, which shall be the house to many of the renowned known names in healthcare sector.

Medicity Project: Hub of Medical Facilities
The Medicity project in New Chandigarh (Mullanpur) was launched in the year 2011, with a motive of providing housing facilities for the doctors and other hospital staff. It is an initiative by the state government to create a hub for medical facilities in which about 104 acres of land has been reserved for multispecialty hospitals and medical research institutes. The Indo UK Healthcare Private Limited recommended a land allotment of 28.10 acres, which is certainly a joint venture of Kings College Hospital in order to set up 500-bed hospital with an investment of more than Rs. 1,000 crore.

A 350 bed Apollo hospital is seen to be operating in Ludhiana, and 150 and 225 bed facilities in Fortis Amritsar and Mohali respectively. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), initiated the allotment of land to a plenty number of health institutes at the upcoming Medicity in Mullanpur, early this March. The 4th Invest north, a conclave to leverage investment and business opportunities organized a compendium of Projects for investments in Punjab. With the visionary far sight of the healthcare sector, 260 acres of land was approved, out of which 80 acres is already allotted for set up of the Tata Cancer & research hospital and Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & research center in New Chandigarh.

The PGIMER satellite center, in Mullanpur is projected to provide Out – patient department (OPD) screening facility that shall refer to only the tertiary care patients (those in need of hospital and advanced investigation) to the PGI.

Needless to say, despite the increase in cost of capital in the healthcare sector and other hindrances, the concentrated efforts of the state government shall contribute towards the growth trend to merrily continue its journey to reach the zenith of the health care sector, and Medicity in the near future. With such visionary far sight, Medicity shall definitely be the hub of bio-technology and healthcare solutions.


Free medicines in government hospitals: A Boon for Patients

Healthcare sector in the most important sector in an economy and Healthcare services, research institutes and the allied sectors contribute in large numbers to the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country. Keeping in view the same, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government has been initiating various policies for the development of the healthcare sector in the Punjab.

Free medicines in government hospitals
According to a survey, 13 people on an average lose life every day in road accidents in Punjab and even many more get injured. The sensitive and responsive Government of Punjab decided to provide free health care services for the first 24 hours of hospitalization to all the patients undergoing an emergency treatment in the government hospitals.

The health secretary of the state, Hussan Lal claimed that the free medical services comprised of various kinds of medicines and diagnostic services, which include CT scan, ultrasound, X-ray, and blood and urine examinations. As instructed by the union health ministry the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh provides the entire free treatment to the emergency patients for the first 48 hours of hospitalization.

In contrast to it, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government initiated the process of supplying medicines at a minimal cost for the drug addicts. Numbers sourced 141 community health care sectors in the state which have been supplying the medicines. In order to curb the menace of drug addiction in the state, the patients are also provided with pick and drop facility from the rehabilitation center to their home followed by outdoor rehabilitation facilities in both the government and the private hospitals, to the patients.

With the visionary far sight of the state government to cater to the needs of both the rich and the poor indiscriminately, 50 essential generic medicines are available for free at the government hospitals and dispensaries. The medicines include for common health problems such as pain, infections, high blood pressure, patients with diabetics etc. With the revision of the essential drugs list, by the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, the department of health and welfare, government of Punjab – there are approximately 253 medicines available under the essential drugs or consumables which are provided at no cost in all government health institutions in the state, along with other medicines under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) scheme.

The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) scheme, was initiated on 1st June,2011 to assist the pregnant women in terms of providing various free facilities such as cashless delivery, diagnostics, exemption from user charges, transportation, C – section etc.

The state government has envisioned Punjab as the apex state of the country. The native favored policies of the state government have definitely contributed in large numbers towards accelerating the comfort level, public convenience and the economic development of the state. Needless to say, with such sincerity and commitment of the state government towards the policy initiatives, the healthcare sector has paved its way towards development.

Health Scheme to Safeguard Traders

Protecting the traders of the state, Punjab government launched the insurance policy that gives traders health benefits up to 50,000 INR per annum. The ‘New Traders policy-2013’ brought relief for the traders of the state. Along with Lump sum tax proposals the SAD-BJP government even took out the insurance scheme which came to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Health Scheme to Safeguard Traders

The scheme gives insurance cover for traders having turnover up to Rs. 1 crore. The scheme objective is provide three Insurance covers that are

  • Accidental Death &Disability Insurance Cover
  • Health Insurance Cover
  • Fire & special Perils Insurance Cover

It would benefit 1.86 Lakh traders. It is known as Social Security Scheme and this scheme would not cover those traders who are under any other State Insurance scheme.

Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar having the most traders with turnover up to 1 crore are divided amongst themselves. Ludhiana -1 has the most businessmen with numbers at 15433. SBS Nagar has the least with 2059 traders. With a total of 1, 86,543 traders availing the facilities, public and private both kind of hospitals will be made capable of handling the situation.

The Health Care cover of Rs. 50,000 will cover one person only. The beneficiaries of the scheme will get a plastic card for health insurance cover. This will enable cashless transactions for meeting expenses of hospitalization for surgical and medical procedures. Hospitalization costs for up to 5 days post discharge will be inclusive in the insurance cover.

Under the Accidental death & disability Cover the recipients of the Plastic card will be giver cover of Rs. 2 Lakhs. In case of accidental death of the beneficiary he nominee has to go to the website of the insurance provider and submit the claim. The rest will be taken care of by the insurance provider, who has to take the required documents and settle the claim within 30 days. If the legatee faces accidental disability then by providing his/her Unique Identification number to the Insurance providers’ website they can submit the claim which will be required to collect information. The UID is printed on the back side of the plastic card. The settlement is to be done in 30 days.

In case a beneficiary faces hospitalisation after an accident and even after the treatment is disabled then he will be eligible for health and accidental cover both.

If a traders stock catches fire and it suffers loss/damage provided that it is kept at a registered location then the trader will be authorised for Rs. 5 lakhs cover under Fire Insurance. The claim however will be as per the Average clause defined under IRDA. The same will be settled within 30 days of the traders’ submission of the claim on the website of the insurance provider.

Average clause is calculated as follows in case of loss by fire:

Average clause = Loss of stock/Value of total stock on date of fire x Sum insured

There are State Level Committees under the traders’ insurance policy scheme which keep a check on the insurer and the insurance provider. The chairman of the Committee is nominated by Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab and is to be an officer not below the rank of Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner. The task of the committee is to coordinate between the government and Insurance providers. With this the government gets to keep a check on if any irregularities that surface.

For grievance redressal a separate committee has been formed which is headed by Assistant Excise & Taxation Commissioner of the district. The committee helps the beneficiaries in case of any issue that causes them a problem.

Punjab takes a lead in taking care of cancer patients

Thanks to a number of initiatives against curbing cancer in Punjab, the state today has become a model for other states for dealing with the deadly menace. It’s a multipronged strategy of the state government, covering the poor patients that has proved effective in dealing with the disease.

Punjab takes a lead in taking care of cancer patients, Parkash Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal

Amongst the most effective schemes is “Mukh Mantri Punjab Cancer Raahat Kosh Scheme. The state government under the scheme has a provided a sum of Rs 50.00 crores, for treatment of all cancer patients barring government employees and those who have health insurance cover. Under the scheme an amount of upto 1.50 lakhs is being made available for treatment of every cancer patient. So far, sanctions worth more than 54 crores have been made to the hospitals all over the state for treatment of more than 5000 Cancer patients. Besides free and cheap treatment is also being provided through financial assistance under State illness Fund through Punjab Nirogi Society, which helps not only cancer patients but also others from the BPL families who are suffering from other life threatening diseases.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal says these initiatives are a beginning to make Punjab a cancer-free state. “Apart from providing superlative treatment, the government is also working on prevention of cancer by banning manufacture, import and use of pesticides.
Apart from providing superlative treatment, we are also taking steps for prevention of cancer by banning the manufacture, import and use of pesticides that are injurious to health. We are also educating farmers on the use of right kind of pesticides,” he said.

Besides the government has also begun biggest ever door-to-door campaign for detecting cancer at an early stage. The campaign after beginning from Faridkot is now being extended to other vulnerable areas in the state. More than 50,000 personnel have been deployed to reach out to more than 1.25 crore people.

Punjab government had already set up Cancer Relief Fund with an initial amount of Rs 20 crore which supported the treatment of 4744 cancer patients across the state.
The government is also providing free travel facility in Punjab Roadways & PRTC Buses for cancer patients who have to avail treatment. Also children diagnosed with cancer are being provided free treatment by the Health department. PGI Chandigarh and Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital Ludhiana has been providing treatment to the children.

 Special facilities in hospitals

Moreover state of the art medical facilities are being made available in the hospitals and treatment centres to deal with the cancer patients. Brachytherapy machine has been installed at Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala. Brachytherapy is a kind of radiation therapy which uses radiation in a focused manner/beam to treat localized cancer. Similarly Radiotherapy machine and Cobalt Unit has been set up at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Faridkot. Also Cobalt Source has been installed at Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences & Research. Centre Amritsar. For better co-ordination the Regional Cancer Centre, PGI has been linked with all the districts through Tele-Medicine facility.

Apart from this, the state government has sealed an agreement with Max Health Care for establishing a Super Specialty Hospital for Cancer & Trauma Care in the premises of Civil Hospital SAS Nagar, and for setting up of Super Specialty Cancer & Cardiac Hospital in the premises of Civil Hospital, Bathinda. Both these hospitals are fully functional.

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A Drive to Win the Cancer War (RahatKosh Cancer)

Punjab has seen an increase in the number of cancer patients in recent years, especially in the southwest Malwa region, due to excessive use of pesticides and insecticides in farming.

CM Cancer Relief Scheme brings relief to 22,744 Patients

Punjab has over 90 cancer patients per 1 lakh population. This is much higher than the national average of 80 per lakh. The Malwa region, also known as the ‘cancer belt’, has the highest average of 136 cancer patients per 1lakh of population. This startling statistic was released by the Punjab government. The records show that there are 23,874 cancer patients in the state and 33,318 people have died of the dreaded disease during the last five years. The Muktsar and Malwa region recorded an astounding 136.3 patients for every lakh. These figures were revealed after the state health department undertook a comprehensive door-to-door campaign to know the state-o- affairs in Punjab.

The cancer patients seeking treatment under the MukhMantri Punjab Cancer RahatKosh Scheme (MMPCRKS) will be entitled for cashless treatment in all 16 hospitals in the state empanelled under the scheme. Under the new scheme, there would be no need for getting prior sanction of officers for availing treatment for cancer. Cancer patients could avail the best treatment facilities in the empanelled hospitals at affordable cost.

Badal said the scheme would prove to be a big help for cancer patients as under it the entire expenditure would be borne by the state government.

Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary of Health said, “The government would sign a fresh memorandum of understanding (MoU) with all the empanelled hospitals in a couple of days.  “We received feedback from patients and news reports that the cancer patients seeking treatment under the MMPCRKS were being forced to pay very high amounts. As per the new MoU, they would be entitled to cashless treatment.”

He said that though the government wouldn’t pay more than Rs. 1.5 lakh in any case, on the basis of all calculations the government and all the empanelled hospitals had reached the understanding that even if a cancer patient gets all three treatments, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgical treatment, the cost couldn’t go beyond Rs. 1.5 lakh.

As per the new MoU, now the private hospitals will be paid under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates. Earlier, they were being paid under the rates of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, which were much lower.

The cancer relief scheme was started in June 2011 for patients who don’t have an insurance cover or are not government employees. The government extends financial help up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh each for cancer treatment at all empanelled hospitals.

Several initiatives to reform the entire scheme were ordered by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. However, some of them are still to be implemented.

The scheme is supposed to reimburse patients as per rates of treatment in PGI, Chandigarh. Chemotherapy in a private hospital costs Rs. 2,000 – 25,000 and Rs. 500 in PGI. Thus,only Rs. 500 will be deducted from a patient’s bill in a private hospital and the rest has to be paid by the patient.

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CM Cancer Relief Scheme brings relief to 22,744 Patients

Punjab Govt. Initiative brings outstanding results in 2 years

CM Cancer Relief Scheme brings relief to 22,744 Patients

In December 2013 when Mukh Mantri Punjab Cancer Rahat Kosh Scheme (MMPCRKS) was announced, it came as a welcome relief for hundreds of cancer patients in the state. The cancer patients were eligible for cashless treatment at 16 empanelled hospitals in Punjab.

Taking serious note of alarming increase in cancer cases, the state government is committed to make Punjab a cancer-free state. The government is also working tirelessly on taking a 360 degree view of the grave problem and banning the manufacture, import and use of pesticides is one such step in this direction, besides also educating the farmers about harmful effects of certain pesticides and also making them aware of the right ones.

Bringing Smiles to 22,744 Families

The scheme, spearheaded by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was implemented from January 2014. It has yielded outstanding results bringing smiles on the faces of 22, 744 patients who were treated under the scheme. The government extended financial assistance to the tune of Rs 277 crores to the beneficiaries.

The scheme provides for Rs 1.5 lakh relief to each cancer patient in the empanelled hospitals. The scheme is effective as it gives the patient to get the best treatment in some of the prominent private hospitals of the state as well, besides the government hospitals also a part of the empanelment.

To ensure transparency, the scheme is available only to residents of Punjab who have to produce adequate evidence to prove their identity and authentication of proof of their residence.

Concerned over ensuring quality treatment to cancer patients in the state, the Punjab government had in July 2013 issued directions to all the empanelled hospitals to ensure that 140 cancer treatment drugs were available at subsidized rates, failing which would invite action against them.

Cancer Treatment to match Global Standards

 The Punjab government had instructed the empaneled hospitals to display names of all such drugs at OPDs and stores selling these medicines. The government has acted responsibly in its battle against cancer, and having set up a 100-bed advanced Cancer Diagnostic Treatment and Research Centre at Bathinda, it brought the latest technology in cancer treatment under one roof.

The government in its commitment to provide the most advanced treatment at competitive rates brought down radiotherapy cost much less than what is being offered at private hospitals. The Centre offers the treatment at an unbelievable cost of Rs 3000 to 10,000, while a private hospital for the same treatment charges nothing less than about a lakh.

The Center boasts of the best facility available since the Centre has the latest equipment in radiotherapy, including COBALT and LINAC, revolutionary in cancer treatment, and that too at affordable rates. The Centre spread over an area of 6 acres and built at a cost of Rs 60 crores, also offered surgery.

Much-Needed Relief for Malwa Region

In an exceptional move by the SAD government, a MoU with Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai was signed for setting up Homi Bhaba Cancer Hospital (HBCH) at Sangrur within the premises of the local Civil Hospital. This brought the much needed relief to the people of Malwa region who would otherwise have to travel on trains to get cancer treatment in adjoining states.

The government is also in the process of setting up a 200-bed Cancer Research Centre meeting international standards at New Chandigarh, an upcoming ultra-modern township close to the state capital. A sum of Rs 450 crore has been allocated for the said project.

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