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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

'Punjab not using central grants properly'

PTI  Phagwara, October 19, 2013
First Published: 18:07 IST(19/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:09 IST(19/10/2013)

Union minister of state for health and family welfare Santosh Chaudhary on Saturday slammed the SAD-BJP-led Punjab government for not using central grants properly under National Rural Health Mission.

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"Grants of Rs. 12,000 crore were either left unspent or diverted for other purposes...as many 100 hospitals were to be upgraded but that was not done, no new hospital staff was recruited, poor patients were suffering while private hospitals were mushrooming," she alleged while talking to media here on Saturday.

Chaudhary said a sum of Rs. 50 crore were given for providing free medicines but state hospitals still lacked such medicines.

The minister said that a grant of Rs. 10 crore to Punjab had been discontinued as state government had not removed Chief Minister's photo from 108 ambulances.

She also expressed disappointment over the pitiable condition of civil hospitals in Phagwara.

Union minister said that generic medicines should be prescribed to poor patients in order to make healthcare system more affordable.

"Generic medicines are cost-saving and much cheaper than the branded ones," she said.

However, she said since health was a state subject, the Centre could not force states for prescribing generic drugs.

The minister also announced that an MoU was signed between the Health Ministry and the ministry of human resources of Hungary for co-operation in the field of traditional systems of medicine.

She said MoU will give boost to co-operation between the two countries in the field of traditional systems of medicine.

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