Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund launched by Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on 18 June 2016 launched the fund titled Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund to provide free treatment for patients affected by Hepatitis C.
With this initiative, Punjab became the first Indian state to provide free treatment to confirmed cases of Hepatitis C.
Highlights of the Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund
• The fund will have initial corpus of 20 crore rupees.
• It will provide free treatment to all the residents of Punjab affected by Hepatitis C.
• Free treatment for Hepatitis C would be provided to the patients in the state government medical colleges at Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot besides 22 district hospitals.
• Under this scheme, the patients of Hepatitis C will be registered at the 25 treating hospitals.
• Medicines for the course of treatment will be issued after examination and testing by the medical specialists.
• The patient has to pay only for the viral load and the genotype of the Hepatitis C Virus for which the Punjab Government has also done rate contract with Lal Path Laboratories.
• The medicines will be given free of cost.
With a prevalence rate as high as 3 percent, there are up to 10 lakh cases of suspected Hepatitis C in the state, of which up to 6 lakh require treatment.
Until recently, the treatment consisted of injectable peg-interferon which was very expensive and unaffordable. However, through Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund, free treatment for Hepatitis C would be of great help for the patients.