'Subsidised drugs for cancer patients'
The state government will give subsidised medicine to cancer patients and open a big cancer hospital at Mullanpur near Chandigarh, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said.
Addressing a gathering here on Saturday after inaugurating a subdivision hospital in this village of his ancestors, the CM said the state government had made good efforts to tackle the fatal disease which had become chronic in the Malwa region in particular. "Experts blame it on polluted water, air and pesticides, but the exact cause is yet unknown," he said. "The state government is making efforts for early detection and bringing relief to patients."
"Since the cost of cancer medicine is very high, the state government will open a scheme to give it on subsidy to patients," Badal said. "We plan to build a big, world-class hospital at Mullanpur near Chandigarh on the lines of Tata Memorial Institute in Mumbai." He referred to the opening of a cancer-diagnostic centre on Sunday at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Faridkot and the planned inauguration of a similar facility in Bathinda, which will cost the state Rs 60 crore.
Badal said the state government had an special programme of cleaning up the rivers, which will cost more the Rs 2,000 crore. Another plan, he said, was to bring potable water to all the villages in another two years. Cabinet minister Madan Mohan Mittal; legislator Drashan Singh Kotfatta; principal secretary (health) Vinnie Mahajan; principal secretary (medical education and research) Anjali Bhanwra; and Raji.P Srivastava, Punjab Health Systems Corporation managing director, were present.
Badal unveils plaque with Patil's name on it
Governor Shivraj Patil was scheduled to inaugurate the hospital, but had to cancel his programme at the last minute because of a technical snag in his official helicopter.
Patal was scheduled to fly to Ghudda village and stay in Bathinda to inaugurate the mega medical camp at Badal, native village of the chief minister, on Sunday. In the governor's absence, CM Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the hospital by unveiling the foundation plaque which had Patil's name on it.
In a press release issued here later, former Congress legislator Makhan Singh termed it a major mistake and violation of the Constitution. "Either the programme should have been cancelled or the governor's name deleted from the foundation stone before unveiling," said the senior Congress leader." No one can replace the governor, who is head of the state."