Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday announced a tertiary cancer hospital, worth Rs 45 crore, for Hoshiarpur — the most backward district of Punjab. The announcement was made during a health fair organised in Garhdiwala tehsil under Dasuya sub division.
“Soon land for the hospital will be identified by the state government... It will be in addition to the cancer institute, which the health ministry has promised to the state,” said Azad, adding that people living adjoining Jalandhar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts will also benefit from the hospital.
Alleging that Punjab government has not been utilising funds for various pilot projects initiated by the Centre in Punjab, Azad said: “I appeal to the state government to utilise all the funds fully.”
During his address, he appealed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to retain Surjit Kumar Jiani as the health minister of Punjab so that Central schemes pertaining to health are implemented properly. “I have come to know that in the last one-and-a-half-year, Punjab has had four health ministers. I hope Jiani retains the portfolio for the next three years,” Azad said, adding that frequent reshuffling is harmful for the execution of health schemes. Later, speaking to mediapersons, Azad said: “The health ministry had stopped grant to Punjab as the state government had failed to follow guidelines.”