Jalandhar, November 21, 2012: Former Congress MLA from Bholath in Kapurthala district Sukhpal Singh Khaira has said the allegations of a politically motivated 99 years lease of the prestigious Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to Punjab Cabinet Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and others stand vindicated, as services in the said hospital have come to a halt within couple of years.
In a statement here today, he added as they are aware, the 500 bedded hospital and the Medical College was built by the government on more than 66 acres of prime commercial land of Jalandhar, with an aim to provide health care facilities at rates of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. He added instead of running the institution after spending hundreds of crores for the welfare, the government succumbed to political pressure and leased out PIMS to Akali leaders such as Rakhra and others.
He said as per reports now, PIMS is in a state of paralysis with doctors, staff and 400 other employees on strike for non-payment of salaries. Medical students are suffering as doctors have stopped delivering lectures as a mark of protest.
Further, he said the outdoor patient department (OPD) is virtually closed, while only 20 patients are currently undergoing treatment as indoor patients at this 500 bedded hospital. The strike by Safai Sewaks has adversely affected the hygiene in the hospital, increasing the risk of patients getting infected. The entire complex of this premier institute wears a deserted look, while majority of patients are being referred to other hospitals. Power supply is available only in parts of PIMS for non-payment of electricity bills.
“To sum it up, the whole experiment of allocating such a prestigious institution to the near and dear ones, has proved to be utter failure and the sufferers are none but the people”, he said.
Khaira said, the Congress demands that the 99 year lease of PIMS be cancelled without any further delay, the institute be restored to the government. He added the Congress also demands a thorough probe into the faulty allocation of PIMS to favoured persons, so that responsibility can be fixed on those playing with the tax payers’ money.