Chandigarh, April 29 – Reacting to the surge in Covid-19 cases in Punjab and the highest death rate in the country, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stated that this was a result of the deteriorating health system under a strategy in the last three decades. The previous Akali-BJP government and the present Captain government are responsible for the plight of current health services. In a statement issued from the party headquarters here on Thursday, senior leader of the AAP and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema said that till date there have been governments of the Akali Dal Badal-BJP and the Congress in Punjab. He said that the people of the state being unhappy with one, continued to hand over power to the other, but Captain and the Badals in order to encourage private hospitals, made the condition of government hospitals worse than each other.
“If we talk about the last four years, then the Congress leaders do not have the answer to the steps taken by the Captain government to fix the health system,” said Cheema. He said that the state government hospitals were in very poor condition and the Captain government had also not built any new government hospital in the last four and a half years. Cheema said that there was also a huge shortage of resources and medical staff in the government hospitals. “Today, there is neither a doctor nor a good laboratory, nor medicines, nor oxygen, nor adequate ventilators. The Captain government continued his false propaganda rather than improving health services, but Covid has exposed the state’s worsening health system,” he added.
The LoP said that today, Punjab has the highest death rate in the country at 2.8 percent. He said that in Delhi, despite having more cases than Punjab and the dense population, the death rate was half of Punjab at 1.39 percent. On handing over the health services in private hands, Cheema said that the government which had the interest of selling all the government companies had to set up and buy oxygen plants itself. He said that Covid had taught that the government needs to strengthen the government order and not sell it. An example of this is Delhi, where the Arvind Kejriwal’s government improved the condition of government hospitals, due to which people’s lives from Covid are being saved today,” he added.
Criticizing the previous Akali-BJP government, Cheema said that the Badals had built private hospitals on the precious land of government hospitals in Punjab. He said that the Captain government also gave the land of many government hospitals to the private hospitals. “These people did not pay any attention to the government hospitals due to which the people of Punjab are suffering today,” he added. Taking a dig at Captain and the Badals, Cheema said that they should answer today that how many people, to whom they had given free land for private hospitals, are treating the poor today. Cheema appealed to the Punjab government to immediately recruit a large number of doctors and medical staff to improve the health services and allocate a special budget for the Covid to the Department of Health.