Ludhiana, December 1
A state-level event on World AIDS Day today held here under the leadership of Health Minister Balbir Singh.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Singh said World AIDS Day was being observed under the theme ‘Let the communities lead’ and it stresses on significance of role of society in the fight against AIDS.
He urged youth to play an proactive role in the war against AIDS. He appealed to NGOs to continue their awareness drive against social odds by connecting with students.
The minister said there were about 24.67 lakh HIV-affected persons in the country while the state accounts for 62,044 patients. The state government was running as many as 115 testing and counselling centres at district hospitals and medical colleges wherein free testing facilities were being provided.
Later, talking to mediapersons regarding the shortage of doctors in the government sector, the minister said new appointments were being made to cater to the shortage and Civil Surgeons had also been asked to reach out to retired doctors who were willing to serve at government hospitals.
He said the Central Government should stop giving stepmotherly treatment to Punjab.
“The Centre has not released Rs 621 crore under the National Health Mission. Opening of mohalla clinics is an initiative of the state government and no Central funds are being used for the same. Hence, funds should not be stopped,” he said.
Regarding the opening of the ICU at the Civil Hospital, he said everything had been finalised and work on the ICU would start in two-three months. The institution would be upgraded to a state-of-the-art hospital.
Referring to the case of Sahnewal Senior Medical Officer, who was caught by the Vigilance Bureau on the charges of corruption, the minister said no government employee should indulge in such practices as the government had zero tolerance towards corruption.
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