In an effort to accelerate the drive against cancer and drug-addiction, the Punjab cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to the Punjab State Cancer and Drug Addiction Treatment Infrastructure Fund Bill-2013. The Bill would be tabled in the assembly and become an Act after the House's approval.
In a press communiqué, health minister Madan Mohan Mittal said the state government would mobilise all its resources and garner support from all departments so that the campaign against cancer and drug-addiction could be expedited on a war footing. He said the public would be sensitised about the social, psychological and economical ill-effects of drug addiction and awareness would be generated against cancer.
The Bill aims at establishing a special fund for the creation of infrastructure, including equipment and provision for medicines in selected hospitals, for the treatment of cancer and drug addiction in the state.
A surcharge/cess would be levied on some items, besides taxes, receipts and a share from the sale of government and semi-government properties, and the money collected would be deposited in this dedicated fund.
Mittal said the state government had conducted a survey on cancer, adding that suspected cases would be treated in government hospitals and medical centres. He said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had assured him that there would be no dearth of funds for this campaign.
The minister said the Punjab State Cancer and Drug Addiction Treatment Infrastructure Board would be constituted, with the CM being its chairperson. He said the health minister; finance minister; medical education and research minister; chief secretary; principal secretary to CM; principal secretary, medical education and research; and principal secretary, finance; would be inducted as members. The principal secretary, health and family welfare, would be the member secretary of the board.