Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, told PGI that he would take up the issue of the UT Administration charging Rs 1,011 crore for a 50-acre land at Sarangpur with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The plot has been sanctioned by the UT Administration to PGIMER.
Choubey arrived in Chandigarh for a day-long visit on Thursday. He visited PGI before going to the Government Rehabilitation Institute of Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID), Chandigarh, and GMCH Sector 32 to attend functions.
Sources at PGI said the institute gave a presentation about various ongoing works there. A PGI source said the institute informed him about the UT Administration charging him a huge amount for its land at Sarangpur. “He assured of taking it up with the Union home ministry,” said the official.
Later in the afternoon, talking to the media at Chandigarh Press Club, Choubey mentioned the initiatives taken by the Chandigarh health department in the city. At the Press Club, Choubey was accompanied by UT Health Director Dr G Dewan and local BJP leaders. Choubey said a 300-bed trauma centre was coming up in the city. He further stated that at GRIID, the authorities were planning to set up an auditorium, hostel and vocational centre and the health ministry would look into the matter if funds could be provided through CSR.
The MoS said the government has plans to open around 1.5 lakh wellness centres across the country. He also talked about the Ayushman Bharat scheme which is the government’s plan to take healthcare to the doorstep of each and every citizen in the country.
To a question why Punjab has not opted for the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the minister said, “We are working with the aim of Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas be it Punjab or Bengal… both state and the Centre are working for the welfare of the people…I am sure that we will solve this problem very soon.”
Asked why the government had failed to control the prices of medicines, Choubey said a committee was already looking into it. “We are promoting generic medicines and many stores are being opened everywhere…Amrit outlets are also coming up which provide drugs at cheaper costs.”
On a question about what the health ministry was doing to address the shortage of doctors, the MoS said that in the next five years, more UG and PG seats would be added in the medical stream. “Prevention is better then cure. We are working to improve cancer detection facilities across the country,” said Choubey, adding that the government was working to provide stents free of cost to BPL patients.