Punjab: Drug de-addiction clinics to open soon

The Asian Age.  | Tanveer Thakur

India, All India

In the first phase, around 12 clinics will commence from SAS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Roopnagar.

Brahm Mohindra, health and family welfare minister (Photo: PTI)

Chandigarh: The Punjab government is all set to open “Outpatient Opioid Assisted Tre-atment Clinics” (OOAT) in community health centres (CHC) in the state to help drug addicts. In the first phase, around 12 clinics will commence from SAS Nagar, Fatehg-arh Sahib and Roopnagar at the CHC level.

Giving details, the health and family welfare minister, Brahm Mohindra, said that to provide healthcare services and treatment to drug-dependent persons at the village level, the health department will open OOAT clinics in all CHCs, where patient suffering from any drug addiction would get the treatment without having been admitted to a hospital. He said that concerned authorities have been strictly instructed to ensure functioning of the clinics and centres as per the standard operating protocol and a daily attendance of persons visiting these clinics.

He said that in order to fulfil shortage of psychiatrist or supporting staff like male nurses, ward attendants, security guards and counsellors for de-addiction and rehabilitation centres at any point, the District De-Addiction and Rehabilit-ation Society is mandated to recruit them.

The Minister reiterated that state government is committed to extend every healthcare service and treatment to the weaker section of the society in the government hospitals. He said that all civil surgeons have been directed to ensure the free treatment to addicts who belong to BPL families. He said that department has also given power to district societies and psychiatrists for providing free treatment to a poor patient even if he doesn’t have BPL Card. “Instructions in this regard have also been circulated to all DCs, Civil Surgeons and psychiatrists”, he added.

He said that it is a fact that patient registration has increased in OOAT clinics and OOAT is becoming more preferred mode of treatment because it is OPD based and absolutely free. He said the average registration in OOAT clinics has increased from 70 new patients per day in June to 408 new patients per day in July. Further, the average footfall in OOAT clinics has increased from 2345 patients per day in June to 4408 patients per day in July. The number is expected to go up substantially over the next two weeks, and is likely to close July at record levels. He said that at present, 81 clinics are functional in the state.