Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday visited PGIMER Satellite Centre in this Punjab town to review its progress, and said that it will be functional by January next year.
Expressing satisfaction at the pace of the execution of the project, the minister said, “With the pace at which the work is being executed, including procurement of medical devices and equipment, the Satellite Centre will be fully functional by January 2023 and will provide a huge relief not only for the local population but for those far and wide.”
Updating about the success of the ‘free precaution vaccination drive’ launched by the Prime Minister on July 15 for 75 days to mark Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Union minister said, “Already over 13 crore people have leveraged this facility by getting vaccinated under this initiative in one month and three days till date.”
He urged the people of Punjab and country in general, especially the vulnerable population, to get vaccinated in the balance of 75 days and equip themselves to face the COVID crisis.
Lauding healthcare workers for their commendable role in containing the COVID crisis, the minister stated, “Our country has been appreciated across the globe for two things; for COVID management by adhering to the guidelines and for vaccination drive by crossing the mark of over 200 crore doses.”
Endorsing the need for ‘affordable health for all’, the minister shared about the initiatives by the government to promote generic medicines which include over 8,500 Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country which are visited over 20 lakh people daily in the country, awareness campaign by engaging with the National Medical Council and launch of an app ‘Jan Aushadhi Sugam’ to make people aware about the salt in the medicine to enable them make considered choice between generic and branded medicine.
He also shared that a Jan Aushadhi Kendra will also be opened at the Satellite Centre in Sangrur.
Earlier, the minister was accorded a warm welcome by Director PGIMER Vivek Lal, Deputy Director (Administration) Kumar Gaurav Dhawan, Deputy Commissioner Jitendra Jorwal, Medical Superintendent Vipin Koushal, among others.
A detailed presentation was made before the minister wherein he was apprised that the Satellite Centre, comprising a 300 bed hospital, was envisaged with an intent to reduce the overcrowding in the PGIMER in Chandigarh and reduce travel time of patients.
Vivek Lal said the Satellite Centre project, spread over 25 acres, will cost Rs 449 crore. The phase 1 has already been executed with the construction of Temporary OPD, a guest house and the boundary wall and the phase II of the execution is being fast tracked.
Lal said with a temporary OPD being functional since October 2016 at the Satellite Centre, 2,78,416 patients have already been examined till date.
Later, the minister visited the temporary OPD where he interacted with doctors, paramedics and patients and enquired about the facilities being provided to patients there.