Punjab would get one of the 20 Regional Cancer Centres to be established across the country, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Amritsar on Wednesday.
While informing this, the Union minister, who was here to launch the 'National Free Drug and Iron Plus Initiative Scheme' at Government Medical College (GMC) here, said, "the Centre had spent Rs 125 crore for the Super Speciality Hospital at Amritsar GMC and a similar facility would be set up at the Government Medical College, Patiala."
Lauding the role of the state government in curbing infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate, the Union minister said efforts must be made to check female foeticide. Azad urged the people to play a proactive role in checking the tendency of drug addiction in the state. The Union minister, accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Union Minister of State for Health Santosh Chaudhary, inaugurated an outlet for free medicine service at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar.
Badal called for introduction of a comprehensive Free Health Security Scheme for the common man, on the lines of Food Security Bill. Badal called upon the Centre to bring in a legislation to this effect and promised that his party would support the initiative in Parliament. Expressing concern over growing trend of drug addiction in the state, Badal asked Azad to raise the issue of supply of drugs from across the borders with the Prime Minister. He said agencies manning the borders should maintain strict vigil to check supply of drugs into the country.
Badal urged the Union minister to impose a ban on poppy husk, which was selling freely in states like Rajasthan. Citing example of agriculture, the chief minister said though it was a State subject, the Centre had usurped its powers by taking control of fixing crop prices and cost of agriculture inputs. He said states and well as the country as a whole could progress only if the federal structure was implemented in letter and spirit.
Later, Azad, Chaudhary and Badal also visited the Golden Temple and offered their prayers at the fanous Sikh shrine.