Union minister of state for health and family welfare Santosh Chowdhary, on Friday, flagged off 9 modern ambulance-cum-mobile medical units for each of the 9 assembly segments of her Hoshiarpur parliamentary constituency.
These air-conditioned vans have cost Rs. 1.4 crore, which she has paid from her Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund.
Leaving no room for the state government to take credit for the facility, Chowdhary has got her name and contribution painted on them.
It is noteworthy that she had raised a huge hue and cry over state chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's photos on '108' ambulances which were funded under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Punjab Youth Congress had even organised demonstrations across the state to get the CM's pictures removed.
Dedicating the medical vans to the people of her constituency, she said that the union government has been endeavouring to bring health facilities to doorsteps of the peoples. The mobile vans would provide diagnostic facilities to people living in remote villages, she said, promising more staff from NRHM to run the scheme more effectively.
She revealed that under NRHM, the UPA government has spent a sum of Rs. 1.10 lakh crore on health facilities in the country. In Punjab alone, Rs. 2,200 crore were spent, she added, informing that under the free medicine programme and another sum of Rs. 65 crore had been approved for the state.
She asked the district administration to ensure that the benefit of government schemes reached the needy.
She lauded the role of ASHA and anganwari workers in creating health awareness among the people and promised to increase their salaries.
On the occasion, a mega health fair was also organised from the MPLAD funds in which people were given free diagnostic facilities and medicines. Health awareness literature was also distributed.