Punjab govt come up with another pro-people health initiative

Free medicines in government hospitals

The ruling SAD-BJP government is all set to launch a major pro-people initiative of free annual health check up program for 30 plus residents of the state. Under the Universal Health Coverage, the CM Prakash Singh Badal will prove his words during the health summit held in November.

As per the information, the residents who fall in this category will be screened for the diseases like Anemia, Hypertension, Diabetes, Kidne and liver diseases. The former Director of PGIMER, Dr K K Talwar has designed the programme.

The principal secretary health and family welfare Vini Mahajan said that as per public health experts, health check-up on a regular basis, especially after the age of 30, is the key to prevention of such diseases and play a major role in determining the quality of life.

After launching the initiative to provide free medicines and diagnostic facilities across the state, this annual health check-up programme has been designed to cover all 30 plus population.

Under this innovative  programme, basic investigations like Blood Pressure, Hemoglobin, Blood Sugar, Kidney amd Liver function tests will be conducted free of cost in addition to consultation by Doctors.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, will be launching this programme from Community Health Centre, Chamkaur Sahib on December 6, 2016. The Punjab government has launched so many pro-people schemes and policies in the last ten years.

The new program is designed to cater the health problems of the residents above 30 years of age will add a feather in government’s cap. It’s a unique initiative taken by the ruling SAD-BJP regime.

The private doctors charge hefty fee for the consultation but in these camps, the doctors will provide free consultation along with the medicines. The residents of Punjab are already availing the free medicine facility in the civil hospitals. It is a boon for the downtrodden strata of the society.



The health sector in Punjab, seems to be healthy enough

The health sector requires special attention in order to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in a state. The government of Punjab appears to be conducive towards a revolutionary change in the health sector of the state. Raising investment in various specialty hospitals in the state, with due emphasis on economic concerns has contributed significantly to the economic development and the increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in Punjab.

The health sector in Punjab, seems to be healthy enough.png

It would not be wrong to claim that, the health care sector and the human resource development forms the backbone of an economy. Keeping in view the same, the health care sector occupied a pivotal place in the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit. The Summit aimed at enhancing the health sector in Punjab, by offering the most lucrative incentives to the pharmaceutical industry and the health care sector followed by providing single – window service for the efficient and effective clearances of such proposals. The computerization of health care records of all the government hospitals, and the policies in favor of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) people has resulted into a quantum jump in the productivity and the functioning of the health care sector in Punjab state.

There are various specialty hospitals operating in the state some of them include Fortis Hospital, Grecian super specialty hospital, Mayo healthcare super specialty hospital, Government multi – specialty hospital, Max super specialty hospital, JP hospital and Guru Nanak Dev super – specialty hospital. The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) was incorporated through the revolutionary and legislative measures of the state Government of Punjab. The vision of PHSC was to bring more administrative flexibility for implementation of the ”Second State Health Systems Development Project” with assistance of  World Bank, with the motive of upgrading the health sector services at a secondary level.

The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), has been looking after about 150 institutions which include District Hospitals, Sub – Divisional Hospitals and various Community Health care centers. There are 86 medical institutions in the rural areas, and 64 medical institutions in the urban areas. The Second State Health Systems Development Project, has been contributing evidently towards adding, renovating and maintaining the health care institutions in the state in contrast to provision of equipment and chemicals for the diagnostic facilities.

Punjab remains one of the bright spots in the country, showing an upward growth trajectory in terms of the efficient health care facilities in the state. The state has witnessed to be undergoing the transformation into a pharmaceutical hub, owing to the emergence of various health sector tycoons such as Biocon, Max, Ranbaxy, and Merck proposing to invest lucratively in the health care of the state. The government of Punjab has been working responsively towards improving the performance and the efficiency of the health care system in Punjab by improving the institutional framework of the existing policies and initiating new policies for the development of the health services. Meanwhile, Punjab continues to be an anchor of stability and economic growth in the country.

Infra for Cancer Treatment witnesses upgrade in Punjab

Numbers sourced from a survey by the Government of Punjab showed on January 28, 2013 that there are at least 90 cancer patients for every 100,000 population in the state, which woefully is higher than the national average of 80 per 100,000 population. The Malwa region – which is already infuriated as the cancer belt witnessed the highest number of cancer patients—107 in 100,000 population through the survey. Mansa, Muktsar, Bathinda and Ferozpur districts are also seen to be at peak of cancer patients in the state.

Infra for Cancer Treatment witnesses upgrade in Punjab.pngThe deadly messages from the disease came as a battle cry for the state government to amply various initiatives to curb this menace. Keeping in view the same, 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 healthcare sector in Punjab is budding in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Bhatinda and Jalandhar through the idealistic PPP model of the Punjab government.

The Punjab Private Partnership (PPP) model is the visionary policy framework of the healthcare sector by the Punjab government, with a view to make the healthcare sector easily accessible, prompt and hassle free for the common masses of the state.

Under the Punjab Private Partnership (PPP) model, two cancer hospitals are being set – up in the state with the helping hand of Max Healthcare. Owing to the responsive financial assistance by Max Healthcare, an amount of Rs 4.5 crore have already been deposited as the up front and an amount of Rs. 1.50 crore for these mega-hospital projects at Mohali and Bhatinda respectively. In contrast to this, the company shall also give away five per cent of its gross turnover every year to the state Government. The estimated time for the completion of both these projects is 18 months. The Malaysia – based, Columbia Asia group is also setting up a secondary hospital in Patiala. An investment of Rs. 150 crore is made by the state government for the modernization of Amritsar medical college, and Rs. 68 crore for the upgradation of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot.

Hospitals such as Apollo Hospitals Group, Fortis Healthcare center, IVY hospital, etc are contributing in large numbers towards accelerating the growth of healthcare sector in the state. The initiative of the Punjab government to set-up new research institutes and medical colleges shall definitely help in putting a halt to the cancer misery. Needless to say, such concentrated efforts of the government shall witness a paradigm shift of the agrarian state into the development of the health care sector.


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.