Chandigarh, Apr 12 (PTI) Punjab government’s priority is to overhaul health department by filling the pending vacancies of doctors and paramedical staff to make health services accessible, Minister Brahm Mohindra said here today.

“I want that health services should improve in the rural and urban health centres run by the state government,” he said while accusing the previous SAD-BJP government of completely ignoring health services.

“There is large scale pendency of specialists in government hospitals. My priority will be to fill up the vacancies of specialists, doctors, nurses, technicians and paramedical staff. I am taking report in this regard,” the Health Minister told PTI.

“The previous government had purchased equipment, which is costly, without proper planning. There is no technician available to operate the equipment.

“I have sought full report on how many equipment were purchased during past two years and out of this how many are being used and how much is lying idle,” he said.

Mohindra also said that some doctors tend to prescribe many medicines and common patients have to spend good amount of money to purchase them.

“I have instructed that the doctors must discourage this practice and must write only those medicines which are essential for the patients,” Mohindra, who is legislator from the Patiala Rural, said.

He said the Congress government is committed to bring reforms in the health sector and to make it affordable and accessible to people.

“We want to improve the existing infrastructure in government institutions,” he said.

“Better healthcare facilities should be easily available to common people. Common people should not feel that when they go to the dispensaries, doctors are not there and if doctors are there, then technician and paramedics are not there to operate the equipment. And if everything is there, then medicines are not available. All these things we want to set right,” he said.

Mohindra also said he has instructed that those doctors who are put on emergency duties, their duty roster should be prepared fifteen days in advance.

“Idea is to ensure the presence of doctors during emergency duty,” he said.

The Minister said that all senior medical officers have been directed to stay at their place of posting.

“There are complaints that some tend not to remain present in the places where they are posted,” he said.

Mohindra said he has sought a report on the condition of ambulances, after reports that many have run three lakh km and were in a bad shape.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.