Punjab’s chief parliamentary secretary, health, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu on Saturday met union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and stressed for a uniform drug policy for the country so that the margin of profit for any drug by any manufacturer should not vary. Briefing about the meeting, she underlined, “Patients are charged various rates by chemists and private practitioners for the same type of medicine.” She said she also requested the minister to introduce psychiatry as a major subject in medicine study courses because of the increasing need of counselling for drug de-addiction and for treating depression, stress and anxiety that have led to alarming increase in suicides. All medical officers should be able to handle all such cases, she added.
She also advocated developing her constituency Amritsar as a international medical tourism destination as the city has an international airport already.
Dr Sidhu said she also strongly took up the issue of female foeticide and advocated stopping over-the-counter sale of abortion drugs without prescription. She suggested tracking of pregnant patients by health workers and encouraging the use of decoy patients to identify centres allowing foeticide.
She said issues related to medico-legal cases were also discussed and she advocated that such activities should be performed under camera surveillance. Stringent punishment should be given to all involved in giving false reports, she added. She said Dr Vardhan promised to look into each matter and showed “full willingness to provide help in all possible ways”.