Rashid Paul

‘JK the only state without subsidized medicine under PMJA’

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 High Court directed concerned directorates, deptts to respond by 3rd of June

Srinagar April 29: The state High Court today directed the state and central government to file response to a petition alleging deprivation of people of J&K the benefits under Pradhan Mantri Jan Ayoushadi scheme (PMJA) that provides for medicines at subsidized rates.

The scheme according to the public interest litigation (PIL) is applicable all over India except J&K despite the resources having already made available to the state by the union government.

The petition was filed by Muzaffar Hussian Bhat, an educated but unemployed youth from Ichgam village of Budgam district.

The High Court directed the Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Department J&K, Directorates of Health Services of the state, its medical colleges and the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare to file response to the petition by 3rd of June 2019.

The petitioner seeks immediate implementation of PMJA in the state.

The scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme for weaker sections of the ailing population unable to procure medicines at market prices. It also calls for  establishing PMJA kendras (centers) in all the government run hospitals.

The scheme according to the petitioner “is applicable and is in operation in all the states of the country except Jammu & Kashmir under the influence of a strong medical mafia”.

It said that the concerned Union Ministry upon the issuance of the government order with respect to the implementation of the scheme have issued guidelines for opening of kendras where unemployed pharmacists, prospective entrepreneurs, doctors and registered medical practitioners could be absorbed.

The guidelines present the parameters, spheres, eligibility and other mechanisms in order to carry forward the scheme of the Prime Minister of the country, it added.

It said that the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) has taken a serious note of non-implementation of the scheme in J&K and has issued letters to chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Four state level directors concerned with health and family welfare have been transferred pursuant to the compliant regarding non-implementation of the scheme by them and for working under the influence of medical mafia”, the petitioner said.

The PMO has even ordered a probe into the non-implementation of the scheme, it added.

It informed the court that the scheme also offers emergency ambulance services, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyajna, National Dialysis Programme, bio medical equipment, management and maintenance programme, Ayushman Bharat programme.

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