Punjab – Soon to Emerge as Hub of Education and Healthcare Services

Punjab has been extremely successful in imparting quality education across students of all sections in the state. Now, the state is being envisioned as a hub of ‘Education and Healthcare services’ across the country. The Punjab Government has taken important steps to boost the education sector in Punjab and it is now one of the leading states of the country in field of education.

Recently, Punjab CM laid foundation stone of Central University of Punjab at a village in Bathinda. He has also called upon the centre to set up meritorious schools in every block of the country. Six such schools have already been set up at Mohali, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala. The schools have been quite successful and have raised standard of education in the state. 10 new Universities and 17 Degree Colleges have been recently set up in the state. Apart from setting world class educational institutions, the emphasis is also on improving the infrastructure in existing government schools and colleges.

The newly setup university will provide quality education to 18000 students who would be given every possible facility. The state has earmarked Rs. 2000 crore for the purpose. Once considered the backward district of the state, Bathinda is now home to 4 new universities that strive to provide educations in all fields.

With several key projects initiated in the state, special focus is also on the fine medical facilities given to the people. Earlier, people in the state had to travel to other state for treatment of fatal diseases but now they are getting advanced treatment and diagnostic facilities in every nook and corner of the state. Centre has allocated prestigious projects like All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Post Graduate Horticulture Research and Educational Institute to the state which have raised the standard of healthcare in the state.

State has, in past, approved several projects for revamp of healthcare facilities in state and strengthened the infrastructure with help from experts. The people of state now have access to world class and affordable healthcare. With many more projects coming, the state government is keen on making Punjab a hub of state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and education across the country.

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Government’s UHC Project to Revolutionize Healthcare

punjab uhcIn a bid to change the face of healthcare delivery in the state of Punjab, the government has launched Universal Health Coverage (UHC) project in two blocks, Mukandpur and Balachaur of District SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), on pilot basis. The project is seen as a huge step in revolutionizing the healthcare delivery system in the state. The success of this project will decide the launching of UHC all over Punjab. The idea behind this is to provide the people will necessary health services without having to suffer financial issues.

The project is actively being run in the said block of SBS Nagar. At present, the health workers are conducting the mass screening for diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, Nutrition, Anaemia, Substance Abuse, Cancer (Breast, Cervical, Oral) by reaching out to each and every member of public. This is a step towards early detection of these diseases. To make this a success, the government is training health workers and is also making efforts to provide efficient and well-run health system for the public. These health workers are also trained efficiently to use these diagnostic devices to make screening a success. Mass screening has been completed in 8000 households out of 20,000 in block Mukandpur and 1000 households out of 25,000 in block Balachaur. It is expected to be completed by June 2016.

An application has been developed by the government in collaboration with Reliance-Jio Infocomm Ltd., Mumbai to fulfil the requirements under Universal Health Coverage. The data in this application is based on Aadhar database. In addition, each ANM has been equipped with state-of-the-art software loaded tablet and the health facility staffs have been given desktops and laptops to keep the record of patients.

Further, under this project a ‘Family Health Card’ has been designed in collaboration with PGIMER Chandigarh which will be used to capture the detail of every member of the family and their medical history. The patients identified by this card shall be eligible to receive either free treatment or at affordable price. Ms. Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab, is herself tracking the progress of the project.

In recent times, Punjab government has given special attention to improvement of healthcare in the state. Previously, a good amount has been invested in improvement of infrastructure of public healthcare facilities. With the UHC project, it may be expected that the state will make historical progress in the field. After the success of the project and the analysis of the same, it shall be launched on a wider scale all over Punjab.

Healthcare in Punjab to Undergo Revamp

punjab healthWith government taking health of its people more seriously than ever, Punjab is expecting a major revamp that can totally change the way public health institutions work in the state. In a bid to improve healthcare services in Punjab, ‘Programme Implementation Plan’ under National Health Mission has been approved by the centre. As per the communication from Government of India, a total amount of Rs. 561.52 crore has been approved for the state. The centre has agreed to give away the said funds in wake of inadequate health care in the state which needed immediate attention. With this money, the state will soon see huge revamp in the healthcare facilities across various Government Hospitals and Public Healthcare Centres. The move is aimed not only at improvement in the healthcare facilities but also the awareness of the same among the people.

The state is giving a lot of importance to health issues these days and making enough strategies for people’s welfare. A total of Rs. 198.92 has been given away for implementation of free or subsidized healthcare services. This will include free treatment and medicines for girl-child up to the age of 05 years, free screening of School and Anganwadi children, free healthcare services for pregnant women and infants and Immunization. The funds will also be used to provide additional human resources required. Separate amount of Rs. 217.13 crore has been approved in order to upgrade the existing infrastructure, provide free drugs and consumables, opening of new Maternal and Child Wings and better functioning of telemedicine centres. Further the facilities including ASHAs and AYUSH at the hospitals will also be given incentives under this program.

Further the focus of the program will be on the providing quality healthcare services by ensuring Sanitation and Quality Assurance. Special emphasis will be on the cleanliness of the health institutions. In order to motivate the hospitals to perform better, it has been declared that health institutions displaying improved performance will be given award under Kayakalp Scheme. Various committees at different levels will be appointed to monitor the progress.

The move will also press on organising special outreach camps to serve the people in slum areas and other poor people. A total of Rs. 41.43 crore will be used under National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) to achieve this. Also, Mahila Arogya Samitis will be operationalized under NUHM. Besides this a sum of Rs. 28.81 crore has been earmarked under Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme to control diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Dengue, etc. Under the same program, another special program for Health Care of Elderly and Programme for Prevention & Control of Deafness will be organized using Rs. 7.71 crore.

In a recent development, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has an initiative to provide adequate healthcare and medicines to patients suffering from Hepatitis B & C at lower rates. The move will also include providing essential drugs free of cost and free deliveries and medicines to patients at Government Health Facilities. In addition, cancer Treatment Drugs will be available at subsidized rates at empanelled hospitals as well as Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS). With all such plans in place, the citizens of Punjab are all set to receive the world-class treatments and healthcare infrastructure. Surely, a success-story in the making.

Vital Reforms by Punjab Health Department

Healthcare in Punjab is now getting more attention than ever as the Punjab Health Department is all set to bring some vital changes in the way it works. The aim is to provide affordable health care services in every corner of the state. The health institutions will be revamped with improved equipment and facilities with methodological suggestions from the medical experts of PGI Chandigarh.

In a bid to make people aware of the health facilities being provided by it, the Punjab health department has recently launched a campaign under which it is taking a number of steps to make the latest information about its activities and facilities available to the general public. The move is a part of a major reform in the health department where the department is taking measures to upgrade and improve the services under its umbrella.

The department has considered regular updating of the health website as one of the crucial steps. It has asked all the civil surgeons to make sure that they update the daily activities on the website. This is to ensure that the vital information is accessible to the people without any hassle. Further, they are also advised to make sure that Signages of the hospitals are big and clear enough so that the patients are able to locate them easily. Also, emphasis is on ample coverage of health related issues and events to help the people gain crucial knowledge about them.

In addition, the department has suggested distribution of precise wall writings and pamphlets to the public. To ensure that the health messages displayed on the monitors are understandable by a layman, the hospitals are instructed to regularly monitor LED TVs installed in hospitals. Reports of all activities are required to be sent to state headquarters for review and further uploading on social media. Proposals of involvement of schools in spreading awareness regarding health problems like dengue, malaria, water borne diseases and hygiene are also under consideration.

Another major step that is to be taken is introduction of Patient Feedback Forms at all government hospitals in the State for getting valuable suggestions from the patients. The move will further help in making improvements in services and also instil confidence in patients who visit public health institutions.

Campaign To Motivate People For Organ Donation

organ donation punjabDid you know that there has been a rising case of loss of life due to absence of eligible organ donors in our country? Vital organs which could have been life saving go waste due to ignorance and lack of awareness about the very concept of organ donation. In order to counter such life losses and to motivate people to strive for organ donation, Government of Punjab has launched one of its kind campaign. 

From now on, registering for a driving licence will be much easier if you pledge to donate your vital body organs irrespective of your religious belief. This novel initiative was earlier taken by Government of Tamil Nadu and was successfully implemented in their state. 

The Government of Punjab has launched a state-wide campaign in order to motivate people and the driving license holder particularly to pledge donation of their eyes and other body parts. This move will benefit lakhs of visually impaired people of the country and also other patients who are in dire need of organ transplantation but cannot find a suitable donor due to lack of organ donation awareness.

Ms. Vini Mahajan,  Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab informed  that lakhs of people in our country suffer from corneal blindness every year and voluntary eye donation would enable these visually impaired people to get vision if enough corneas are available for transplantation. She also pointed out that the biggest concern which the state is facing is the absence of proper awareness about organ/eye donation among the common masses. According to her, this can be tackled to a good extent by asking the applicants of driving licenses to pledge their eyesight at the time of filing application.

The present model is a replica of Government of Tamil Nadu’s Transport Department. Every aspirant for a driver’s license gets a form for eye donation along with the form of application of driving license. The Government of Tamil Nadu has a system of mentioning the donor status of the applicant on form and the driving license, and based on this in case of accidental/natural death; his/her eyes or organ can be donated to the needy patient. Ms. Mahajan said a circular had been issued to all districts in this regard. Transport Minister Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar has also issued the required guidelines to all district level transport officers.

The transport officers are supposed to initiate the process of getting a proforma for pledging organs/eye donation filled from applicants driving licenses. The online proforma is also available at www.pbhealth.gov.in. Any person wishing to be a donor will get a hard copy of donor card by post. The same kind of proforma will also be given to the applicant of driving license at the time of application. The name and location of the nearest eye bank available can be easily found out by calling on a toll free Number 104.

With these steps, Government of Punjab aims to launch a mass movement for creating awareness for organ/eye donation. This will go a long way in saving precious lives and giving new hopes to those who have suffered major health losses.