Health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani on Saturday gave a strange reason to justify the increase in user charges in government hospitals that would be implemented from July 1.
When asked about the hike, the minister said not much hike had been effected. He said, “The parchee fee or OPD registration fee has been revised from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 as not many people have Rs. 5 change with them, and it’s convenient to pay Rs 10.” He asked reporters to show if they had a Rs. 5 note to prove his point.
Jyani was here to attend a state-level awareness function on de-addiction programme.
He said yellow and blue card holders were exempted from such charges and many facilities were provided at the hospitals free of cost. Also, the rates for the airconditioned rooms had been increased. He admitted that the blood blank charges seemed to have increased more. He said he would soon ask the department to revise these rates to give relief to the common man. The department has increased the blood charges from Rs. 300 to Rs. 500 (for government hospital) and from Rs. 750 to Rs. 1,450 (for private hospitals).
He said the government was serious in providing proper rehabilitation to addicts in the state and the programme was to be made successful within three years.
‘DID NOT RESIGN’
Jyani ruled out the news about his resignation. He said, “No minister from the BJP has submitted resignation from the ministry. I have not tendered my resignation. It was just a media report that I also read.”
On the statement of BJP leader Shanta Kumar about the reshuffling of portfolios of ministers, he said it was the discretion of the party high command and only the party could comment on this.
Punjab Communist Part of India-Marxist (CPM) secretary Charan Singh Virdi has condemned the SAD-BJP government for the increase in government hospital charges in the state.
Charges for the OPD slip, which were Rs. 2 in April 2013, will be Rs. 10 from July. There is substantial increase in test and other charges. He sought a rollback.