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Punjab's private drug rehab centres facing closure

Chandigarh, Feb 9 (IANS) The Punjab Drug Rehabilitation Centres Union (PDRCU) on Thursday sought intervention of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to review a policy of the previous Congress government that has brought such centres being run in the private sector to the verge of closure.

Members of the special committee set up by the PDRCU said they have given many representations to officials of the Health Department to revoke the policy.

Kunal Lakhanpal, a member of the committee, said: “In 2020 the then Congress government mandated that every rehab centre should have a psychiatrist, an MBBS doctor and a nurse on its payroll. It is illogical as no medicine is to be given at these centres. We admit people after detoxification. Such people are provided counselling. The idea is to make them mentally strong so that they don’t fall prey to drugs again.”

Another member said Angad Singh said that the policy lead to high operating costs, which “we cannot meet given the fact that we run small centres and the fee charged from patients is also bare minimum as the affected families, by and large, are poor”.

Under the policy, some private rehab centres have already been served with closure notices. Some have even closed. There are cases where rehab centres have shifted from Punjab and set up bases in neighbouring states.

Another committee member Sanjeev Sharma said: “In case the policy is enforced in its current form, 74 private rehab centres will be shut down.”



Agency News Desk
Agency News Desk
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