Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday announced the decision to create a dedicated fund of Rs. 100 crore initially, for the treatment of poor patients free of cost. The fund would be serviced from the income generated from five per cent annual revenue of the Max Super Speciality Hospitals being set up in Bathinda and Mohali districts.

According to an official release, presiding over a function to perform the ground breaking ceremony and ‘Ardas’ (prayers), the Chief Minister said that the amount of this dedicated fund would be subsequently raised to from time to time with the increase in annual revenue to the Punjab Government from the Max Healthcare Group as per terms and conditions in the agreement.

The Chief Minister explained that the fund would also include an upfront payment of Rs. 4.45 crore and 1.58 crore for the Mohali and Bathinda super speciality hospitals respectively made by the M/s Max Healthcare to the Punjab Government at the time of the bid. The fund would be exclusively within the control of Punjab Health Systems Corporation to ensure proper management and utilisation for free treatment of poor patients.

Mr. Badal further said that the Punjab Government was committed to upgrade the health and medical infrastructure in the State to ensure best treatment to the people of the State at the affordable rates.

He said the Punjab Government had already spent Rs. 182 crore and Rs. 67 crore to upgrade the Government Medical College and Hospital at Amritsar and Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences and Medical College at Faridkot respectively. A comprehensive plan for the upgrading of infrastructure and equipment at Rajendera Government Medical College at Patiala at cost of Rs. 60 crore had also been prepared.

The Chief Minister said that it was the endeavour of the government to equip all its medical colleges, hospitals, community and primary health Centres with adequate medical staff, medicine and equipment.

He mentioned that 312 doctors had been recruited in the various government hospitals.