Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday requested the Finance Commission to allocate Rs 100 crore for setting up a medical college in cancer-hit Fazilka to augment medical services in the border district of Punjab.
In a letter to the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, N.K. Singh, he said the medical college-cum-hospital proposed by him could serve as a focal point for not only the Malwa region but also the neighbouring districts of Haryana and Rajasthan.
He recommended that it be attached to the district hospital at Fazilka.
Sukhbir Badal said there was an extreme deficit of basic facilities and healthcare in the government sector in Fazilka.
He said due to low income levels of the population, private health services were also rudimentary. He said the district had only 0.7 to 0.9 hospital beds per thousand population and one doctor served 6,183 people in the district compared to 578 persons served in Patiala.
The SAD President told the Finance Commission Chairman in his letter that Fazilka also accounted for the highest prevalence of cancer in the country.
He said a train from Punjab’s Malwa region to Rajasthan was infamously referred to as “Cancer Express” since it ferried only cancer patients for treatment.