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Punjab govt orders doctors to treat drug addiction cases on priority

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Following spate of drug-related deaths, Punjab health and family welfare department has issued strict instructions to all civil surgeons to give priority to the cases of drug addiction.

Disclosing this, health and family welfare minister Brahm Mohindra said civil surgeons have been made duty-bound to admit the patient suffering from addiction and start the treatment as early as possible.

In any reported case of dereliction of duty on the part of civil surgeon on this front, strict departmental action would be initiated against the erring civil surgeon, the minister said.

He said that the state Government is fully aware of the condition arising out of the spate in drug addiction cases and is prepare to discharge its moral and Constitutional duty.

Mohindra said since social stigma is attached with the drug addiction which prohibits public to openly come forward and get treatment in the government institutions.

The minister said that any patient suffering from drug addiction and who is not willing for indore admission may get daily dose from Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Clinics.

Divulging on the concept of OOAT Clinics, he said that it is a comprehensive program envisaged by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to bring in qualitative improvement in the lives of youth suffering from drug addiction. He said OOAT programme was launched by the health department to provide outdoor health care services to the patients suffering from drug addiction.

He said that now around 81 OOAT clinics were being provided the healthcare services to the patients.

The minister said till date more than 8459 patients have been registered and are on treatment and patient retention rate currently is 84.05 percent whereas till date total footfall at OOAT clinics has been recorded as 274938.

Mohindra said central registry for online tracking of patients has been first time implemented in Punjab. Patient may take medicine from any of the functional OOAT Clinic and every patient is provided with UID number so that he may take his daily dose from a single clinic and duplicity is avoided.

Any patient can resume their routine activities and go back to their family after taking daily dose from OOAT clinics. Mohindra also appealed the general public especially the parents to voluntarily come forward and get their children examined at the government institutions, if they suspect their children indulged in drug addiction.