The Punjab government is all set to implement the centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) scheme next month to provide free medical treatment to children from weaker sections of the society, at government hospitals across the state.
The scheme also includes providing surgical interventions and long-term treatment for diseases, free of cost to those under the age of 18 years. Launched under the UPA government in February last year, the RSBK also aims at screening school children for early detection of serious diseases.
Nodal officer for the scheme Dr Harshinder Kaur said all arrangements had been made to initiate the scheme all over Punjab. “We are hoping to launch it in the first week of September and we will sign a memorandum of understanding with the state’s medical education and health and family welfare departments over their cooperation in implementing the scheme,” she said.
Kaur added that Chandigarh’s Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had been involved in the scheme to take on serious cases.
“The Centre will bear all expenses, starting from admission slips to IPDs, surgeries, medicines and follow-ups,” said Kaur. Children from weaker sections of society, who have been diagnosed with any disease during check-ups at Anganwadi centres, government and aided schools, will be identified.
They will be sent to first line nodal officers posted at dispensaries and civil hospitals, who will then report the cases to medical colleges in Amritsar, Faridkot and Patiala. The scheme will lead to timely treatment of developmental disorders, birth defects, disabilities and deficiencies among children.