Assam moots free medical treatment for BPL families

Guwahati: Assam plans to launch a healthcare policy that will provide free treatment and medicine to below poverty line (BPL) families, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Thursday.

Gogoi has directed health and family welfare department officials to formulate a policy for providing "total healthcare" to such families.

"Free treatment and medicine will be provided to BPL families in government hospitals as well as in private nursing homes within the state," he said.

The chief minister directed health officials to ensure availability of medicines in all government hospitals and health centres across the state.

Gogoi asked the department to fill up vacant posts in all medical colleges and health establishments.

He asked for the revival of the "Mamata scheme", under which babies born in government hospitals are given talcum powder, towels, mosquito nets, blankets etc. as gifts.

The chief minister, meanwhile, hit out at the central government for its decisions to suspend the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), slash development funds and stop subsidized ration for tea workers.

"How is the Centre going to achieve 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'?" Gogoi tweeted.

Over 19 lakh families of tea garden labourers would be affected by the Centre's decision to stop providing subsidized ration. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the industry and commerce ministry recently informed the Assam government to suspend further registration under schemes of the NEIIPP.

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