Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) senior leader Charanjit Singh Brar today said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had not only rebranded primary health care centres as Aam Aadmi Clinics after closing rural dispensaries, but had also extended the contract for all diagnostic tests to a private company at astronomical costs.
Charanjit Brar was here at Khaira Gajju Aam Aadmi clinic which has been made operational by transferring staff from the nearby Kotla village. The erstwhile PHC in this village was established in 1978 and also a free chemist shop and diagnostic centre, which are both lying closed presently.
The SAD leader while speaking on the Aam Aadmi Clinics said the closing down of 540 rural dispensaries had affected health care facilities in 6000 villages. He demanded that these rural dispensaries be made functional immediately and upgraded by hiring required doctors and paramedical staff to provide efficient health care services to people.
Brar said it was “shocking” that the AAP government had expanded the scope of a private diagnostic company and handed over responsibility to it to conduct laboratory tests in government hospitals. Terming this as a scam, he said fresh tenders should be issued so that this work could be allotted on competitive basis till such time the government does not hire laboratory technicians and make all laboratories functional.
Brar said AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had promised to make healthcare free for people in Punjab, including bearing cost for all surgeries. “Forget doing this, he has forced Punjab chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to go in for a useless branding exercise to revive AAP‘s sinking ship in Punjab. He said the situation vis-a-vis healthcare services was so bad in Punjab that patients had to purchase their own syringes”. “Only 500 clinics have been opened by going in for a rebranding exercise. Nothing new has been done to improve the health sector,” he added.