4 days after halting free treatment, health department revokes orderUpdated: Feb 14, 2020 23:01 IST
Four days after halting its two flagship schemes, free treatment to girl child up to 1-5 years and free treatment for first 24 hours of emergency treatment, the health department revoked its order on Friday. The schemes were halted after the Centre discontinued budget heads for these schemes under the National Health Mission (NHM).
A health department official said on the condition of anonymity, “The Centre has discontinued specific budget lines for both schemes and it was contributing 60% for these schemes under separate heads.” The department, however, has not clarified on how it will continue with these schemes with the only word from the government being that these would go on with few modification and changes.
On January 31, National Health Mission, Punjab in a letter to the Director Health Services wrote, “There is no approval in the Program Implementation Plan (PIP) 2019-20 for free treatment to girl child up to 1-5 years and free treatment for up to first 24 hour of emergency services. The same has already been conveyed to the programme officers concerned,”
On February 10, director health services, Punjab, had ordered all district authorities to take the required action on the NHM’s letter.
On Friday, state health and family welfare minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, “The communication was inadvertently issued by the PNDT (Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Division without any approval of the government. The matter was brought to my notice and I have ordered immediate revocation of the letter issued by the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare to districts.”