Chandigarh, August 23, 2020: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today requested the Finance Commission to allocate Rs 100 crore for establishment of a Medical College and hospital at Fazilka to augment medical services in the border district of the State.
In a letter to the Chairman of the fifteenth Finance Commission – Mr N K Singh, the SAD President said the Medical College cum hospital proposed by him could serve as a focal point for not only the Malwa region but also the neighbouring districts of Haryana and Rajasthan. He recommended that it be attached to the District hospital at Fazilka.
Giving details, Mr Sukhbir Badal said there was an extreme deficit of basic facilities and healthcare in Fazilka in the government sector. He said due to low income levels of the population private health services were also rudimentary. He said the district had only 0.7 to 0.9 beds per thousand population and one doctor served 6,183 persons in the district compared to 578 persons served in Patiala respectively.
The SAD President told the Finance Commission Chairman in his letter that Fazilka also accounted for the highest prevalence of cancer in the country. He said a train from Punjab’s Malwa region to Rajasthan was infamously referred to as “Cancer Express” since it ferried only cancer patients for treatment.
Mr Badal said there was no structured programme to address the health problems of the people. “We have a district hospital which is deficient as far as infrastructure is concerned. He said due to this people had to travel overnight to get medical services which was a further burden on them.