The Union Health Ministry has said the Punjab government was converting Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres into Mohalla Clinics, a pet project of the Aam Aadmi Party, and has warned of stopping the funds for the scheme. The Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWC) is formulated with 60:40 contribution ratio by the Centre and state.
In a letter written to the state government on February 6, the ministry said that the state has vitiated the spirit of the scheme and "defaulted" on its commitment by branding AB-HWCs as Aam Aadmi Clinics and "not adhering' to the provisions of the memorandum on the implementation of the scheme.
"The state has violated the provisions of Clause 10.3 and 10.10 of MoU and has stopped implementing the AB-HWC component of NHM (National Health Mission), therefore releases to the State under NHM do not appear feasible as per provisions of Clause 13 of the MOU," NHM Additional Secretary and Mission Director Roli Singh said in the letter.
A top health ministry official said, "The Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (HWC) is formulated with 60:40 ratio of Centre and state. If a state changes the scheme during implementation, then the funds being released from the centre will be stopped." The state (Punjab) was asked to stop from deviations of the guidelines and ensure branding as per the guidelines issued earlier by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
The health ministry official said Punjab has been given Rs 1,114 crore in 2022-23 under the scheme. The official source said that states like Telangana too have partially deviated from implementing the scheme and the ministry has asked for corrections.
The source said around 3,029 sub-health centres, primary health centres and urban Health centres have been converted into Mohala Clinics in Punjab.
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