Chandigarh: Punjab's Health and Family Welfare Department today instructed all civil surgeons to give priority to drug addicts admitted in their hospitals and start their treatment as early as possible.
In any reported case of dereliction of duty on this front, strict departmental action would be initiated against the erring civil surgeon, Brahm Mohindra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, said here.
He said that the state government was fully aware of the conditions arising out of drug addiction cases and was prepared to discharge its moral and constitutional duty. "We do have sufficient staff as far as the de-addiction centres are concerned besides adequate availability of essential medicines at all the de-ddiction/rehab centres," he added. He said addicts who were not willing to get admitted can get their daily dose of medication from the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinics. The OOAT programme was launched in October 2017 by the health department to provide outdoor health care services to drug addicts.
Till date more than 8459 patients have been registered and are under treatment at the over 8o OOAT clinics. The patient retention rate at present is 84.05 per cent whereas the total footfall was recorded at 2,74,938.
Mohindra further said that the central registry for online tracking of patients has been implemented in Punjab.
Patients may take medicine from any of the functional OOAT clinic and everyone of them is provided with UID number to avoid duplicity, he said. Any patient can resume their routine activities and go back to their family after taking the dose, he added. The minister said counselling was also being provided to the patients at the clinics. PTI