CHANDIGARH: In a move aimed at providing healthcare services to the drug addicts, the Punjab Government will set up Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Clinics in all the Community Health Centres (CHC) of the state.
In the first phase, around 12 clinics will come up at SAS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Roopnagar districts at the CHC level, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Brahm Mohindra informed the media, further adding that these clinics will also provide services to those at the village level
The department will set these clinics in all CHCs where a patient suffering from any drug addiction can avail treatment without getting admitted to the hospital
The authorities concerned have been strictly instructed to ensure smooth functioning of clinics and centres as per the Standard Operating Protocol, including marking of daily attendance of persons attending the clinic.
To fulfil the shortage of psychiatrists and other supporting staff for de-addiction and rehabilitation centres at any point, the District De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Society is mandated to recruit them, the minister further said.
The minister reiterated that the state government is committed to extend every healthcare service and treatment to the weaker sections of the society.
All civil surgeons have been directed to ensure free treatment to addicts who belong to BPL families. District societies and psychiatrists have been given the authority to provide free treatment to poor patients even if they don't have a BPL card, he said.
"Instructions in this regard have also been circulated to all DCs, Civil Surgeons and psychiatrists," he added.
The patient registration, the minister said, has increased in OOAT clinics which is also turning into a more preferred mode of treatment as it is OPS based and free of cost.
The average registration in OOAT clinics has increased from 70 new patients per day in June to 408 new patients per day in July. Further, the average footfall in OOAT clinics has increased to 4408 patients per day in July from from 2345 patients per day in June. The number is expected to go up substantially over the next two weeks, and is likely to close in July at record levels. At present, 81 clinics are functional in the state.
He said that capacity building training was being imparted to the teams which would comprise of Medical Officer, Pharmacist, Staff Nurse and data entry operator to conduct proper treatment of addicts at CHC level. The online tracking of patients suffering from drug addiction in OOAT clinics has already been implemented on the basis of Unique Identification Number (UID) number which is provided to every patient.