Punjab health and family welfare minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday said that all kind of free medicines being provided by the health department should be adequately available at all the government hospitals.

Chairing the maiden meeting with heads of departments of all the wings of the department, the minister said the people of the state don’t have to run from pillar to post to get these basic medicines and they don’t have to pay from their pocket to purchase these medicines from private drug stores.

“No laxity in providing the basic quality medicines and treatment would be tolerated. This is my prime agenda that the citizens of the state get quality healthcare services in the government hospitals of the state,” Sidhu said.

“Monsoon season is going to set up soon, so I also request you all to brace up your sleeves and be ready to provide all the dedicated services to the citizens of the state to avoid the outbreak of any potential epidemic,” he added.

While reviewing the mother and child healthcare programme, the minister exhorted the director family welfare to ensure that institutional deliveries are increased in the government hospitals and the high-risk pregnant women are getting the best healthcare services to further reduce the Mother Mortality Ratio (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).

While discussing the working of ESI hospitals, Sidhu expressed satisfaction that the Punjab government has filled all the vacant posts of doctors and other paramedic staff earmarked for Punjab for the ESI hospitals and dispensaries.

Sidhu asked the officers to streamline the functioning of these ESI hospitals to provide health services to the registered labourers and other construction workers.

Institutional deliveries, Immunization programme, child and women healthcare, Mental Health and De-addiction programme, TB control programme, AIDS control programme and functioning of Health and Wellness centres were also discussed in the meeting. The minister also instructed the officers of the department to ensure that different employees are wearing the proper uniform while working in the Hospitals.