Punjab health minister Madan Mohan Mittal here today reiterated that the state government would take stern action against doctors found involved in private practice.
Mittal, who was here to inaugurate a special 12-bed infant care unit, also announced that the state government would spend Rs. 69 crore on upgrading five hospitals in the state. The health minister's statement came three days after the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association had flayed sting operations by the chief parliamentary secretary of health, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, against government doctors carrying out private practice.
Mittal said he had instructed all civil surgeons to send monthly reports to his office about any doctor indulging in private practice.
The health minister, meanwhile, also said infant mortality rate in Punjab had come down from 34 per 1,000 births to 30 per 1,000 births. "We hope to bring it down to 20 by 2015 and 17 by 2017," he said, adding: "In comparison to the national average of 47 deaths per 1,000 births, our infant mortality rate is good."
He also said the state government would fill up all vacant posts of doctors in the state.
Referring to the recent controversy involving him and CPS Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the health minister said nobody had the authority to conduct any type of sting operation in the health department.
"However, any doctor found doing private practice would be dealt with sternly," he said.