Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, Member of Parliament (MP) from Patiala, appreciated the bold stand taken by Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra on the newly launched National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). Dr Gandhi lauded Mohindra’s refusal to sign the MOU and termed it as a welcome step for the protection of state’s interests. He said the Health Minister had rightly pointed out that the terms of the NHPS could not be imposed arbitrarily on states as every state was distinct in incidence, disease patterns, prevalence and economic profile.

The MP agreed with Mohindra’s argument that Punjab had its own special disease patterns for which Union Government’s NHPS might not work properly as insurance companies might bid for higher premium rates on the basis of a large-scale epidemic such as prevalence of cancer, hepatitis C, heart diseases in the state. He added health being a state subject as per the Constitution, the Centre has no right to interfere and impose its own diktats when it comes to draft the health policy for the state. Terming such interference, a clear violation of federal principles of the Constitution, he assured all support to the state government on the issue. – Tribune India

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