Punjab NHM withdraws support to Centre’s Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra

Chandigarh: The Punjab National Health Mission has withdrawn its support to the Centre’s Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, which is aimed at disseminating information and ensuring benefits of the government schemes reach the people.
In an order issued on January 8, the National Health Mission (NHM), Punjab wrote to all the civil surgeons stating that the guidelines related to the implementation of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra have been withdrawn.
”This is in continuation to the letter dated November 17, 2023, regarding nationwide campaign to raise awareness through outreach activities to achieve saturation of the scheme named – Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, planned by the government of India. The said letter is withdrawn with immediate effect,” stated the communication to all the civil surgeons.
The yatra is being undertaken across the country with an aim to attain saturation of flagship schemes of the government by ensuring that the benefits of these schemes reach all targeted beneficiaries in a time-bound manner.
The order came amid the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government being at loggerheads with the Centre over funds under the National Health Mission.
The Bhagwant Mann government in Punjab had accused the Centre of withholding funds under the NHM.
However, the Centre had last month said that it has not released its share of Rs 402.48 crore under the National Health Mission to Punjab due to the state’s non-compliance with branding guidelines for Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centers.
It has stated that Punjab has branded the centres as Aam Aadmi Clinic (PHC-HWC) instead of Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Center (now, Ayushman Arogya Mandir), thereby violating the provisions of the pact signed between the Union health ministry and the state.
Meanwhile, Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar has slammed the Mann government for its ”pettiness and politically absurdity” to withdraw support to the yatra.
The AAP’s penchant for manufacturing confrontation is detrimental to Punjab’s long-term interests and governance, said Jakhar in a statement.
He said that people of Punjab would be the biggest sufferers due to this attitude of the AAP ”to unnecessarily dig up controversies just to distract masses from main issues”.
Jakhar said that the yatra was providing health benefits to people across villages by offering screening of several ailments.
While terming it as a decision taken in haste under pressure from ”Delhi masters”, Jakhar asked Mann to come clean on reasons behind this ”illogical move”.
The letter issued by the NHM director does not specify any reason for withdrawal, the BJP leader said.

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