Punjab: Government-run medical dispensaries short of supplies as ministers clash

For the last seven months, the health department has not provided medicines to 1,186 dispensaries in rural areas, claims Bajwa. But Health and Family Welfare minister says supply has never stopped.

Published: 29th June 2018 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2018 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

Medicine

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Do government-run medical dispensaries in Punjab get fresh supplies each month? Rural Development and Panchayats minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa says no, but Health and Family Welfare minister Brahm Mohindra says yes.

For the last seven months, the health department has not provided medicines to 1,186 dispensaries in rural areas, claims Bajwa. But Mohindra says supply has never stopped.

The rural development department runs the dispensaries and is responsible for procuring medicines. But for several years, the health department has pitched in by replenishing stock in these facilities.

Each dispensary gets medicines worth `4,500 each month, sources said, adding that the designated doctor running each facility gets medicines from the warehouse of the district after filling up a form. However, the rural development department has not been paying the health department for the last two years. So, in December, the latter stopped supplying medicines, the sources said.

Bajwa made his discontent known to the health department, but to no avail, as Mohindra called his charges frivolous and false. “I am answerable to the public, and hence, supply of medicines to these dispensaries was never stopped. I have checked with officials of the department. I do not know what Bajwa is saying all this,” Mohindra said.

Bajwa, on his part, said he would do the needful to get fresh stock of medicines. “We are in the process of getting funds to pay the remaining amount to the health department so the supply of medicines will be resumed. Mohindra is a senior leader and minister in the cabinet, and might have been misled by the officials under him.”

President of the Rural Doctors Union Dr Aslam Parvez says the dispensaries are being targeted due to ulterior motives and politics. The supply of medicines was stopped as the health department wants to absorb doctors of the rural development department, he alleges. “From July 1, we will sit on a dharna outside the residence of CM Capt Amarinder Singh to highlight the step-motherly treatment given to us by the health department,’’ he said.

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