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Sorry state of affairs of Rural Health Dispensaries in Punjab
Despite tall claim of better Heath services and infra structure in the rural dispensaries, the factual position clearly speaks the sad state of affairs of health in rural Punjab, said Dr. Kamaljit Singh Vice President, Rural Medical Officers Association.

Through an email to this citizen journalist and on telecon, Dr. Kamaljit Singh said, the Punjab State with a commitment to provide "Health for All" is responsible for health and welfare of 28.8 million of its population. About 63 per cent of this population resides in rural areas. The state is committed to provide preventive, primitive and curative health services to the people of the State through network of medical institutions.

The Primary Health Care Services in the rural areas of the State are provided through a net work of Medical Institutions comprising of  3000 Sub- Centers , 1300 Rural Dispensaries, 400 Primary Health Centers  and 128 Community Health Centers  .

He further stated that in 2006,  about 1200 rural  dispensaries have been transferred to department of Rural Development and Panchayats which resulted in two parallel health systems operational in rural areas of Punjab.

Although decentralization of power was the reason given for transfer of these health institutions to rural department  but lack of needed expertise, chain of hierarchy resulted in failure of this experiment.

As there is an old saying that "Jack of all traits and master of none", same has come true with Punjab Rural and Panchayat department which manages rural health institutions, rural veterinary institutions and even schools.

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