Senior AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema expressed concerns over the declining public health facilities in Punjab and held the state government accountable for the same.
Through a press statement, Cheema said that as per the allegations of a social activist in Punjab, the government doctors have been escaping their duties by paying a large amount, and added that the allegations bring "disgrace to the ruling government."
"The written allegations of government doctors absenting themselves from duty by paying hefty amount, levelled by a social activist and former Punjab government official, Dr Pyare Lal Garg, were of serious nature, which has earned disgrace for the government in the saddle," Harpal Singh Cheema said in his statement.
Cheema demanded that a special committee of Punjab Vidhan Sabha be constituted to investigate the allegations within a timeframe to disclose the role of the health mafia. "The team should comprise of MLAs and representatives of all parties and investigating agencies experts," he said.
The AAP leader also stressed the need for improving annual budget allocation for health and medical education for the year 2020-21, just as the AAP government in Delhi.
"Only 3.48 per cent of the total budget for health and medical education in the state was earmarked during the financial year 2019-2020, which did not even make for 1 per cent of the state's GDP, as a result of which the health services were badly hit, leading to staff crunch and shortage of medicines at government hospitals and dispensaries," the statement added.
Cheema said the AAP government in Delhi spends over 12 per cent of its total budget on public health services, which helps in providing free medicines and medical tests to people at government hospitals and dispensaries.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday that the healthcare schemes of the Delhi government were better than the Centre's Ayushman Bharat, underlining that such programs of his dispensation were completely free for all irrespective of the rich or poor.
Kejriwal slammed the criteria of the Ayushman Bharat saying, "If these criteria applied, there will be no one eligible for the scheme. Therefore we decided to not implement it."
"Even expenses on treatment, surgeries and medicines in private hospitals are borne by the Delhi government. If the Delhi government wants, Ayushman Bharat can be implemented today itself. But it doesn't simply work in Delhi," he said. "Delhi's healthcare schemes are better than Centre's Ayushman Bharat."