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States » North

Punjab govt all set to initiate 'take home dose' service from OOAT clinics: Min

Chandigarh, Sep 20 (UNI) Health and Family Welfare Minister Punjab Balbir Singh Sidhu on Friday said improve the retention rate of treatment mechanism at OOAT (Outpatient Opiod Assisted Treatment) clinics and government de-addiction centres, the State Government was all set to commence 'Take Home Dose' service which is free of cost under the de-addiction Programme..
In a statement, the Health Minister said that Punjab Government was operating the 35 government drug de-addiction centres and 181 OOAT Clinics which were providing de-addiction treatment facilities to more than 100000 patients in the state.
He further said that it has been observed that coming daily at OOAT clinic to complete the course of treatment is so difficult for many patients. Also, it affects the retention rate of treatment.
The Health Minister further said that it is matter of concern that daily around 500 to 600 patients visit OOAT clinics for getting treatment where as many patients have dropped out just because of non- availability of provision of 'take home dose'.
To strengthen the treatment mechanism at OOAT Clinics, it was decided by the State Government to initiate take home dose of Buprenorphine-Naloxone medicine under de-addiction programme. Notably, Buprenorphine-Naloxone medicine was largely used in the world for the treatment of Opiod addiction and approved by the World Health Organisation under the de-adiction programme.
Mr Sidhu stated that besides the government institutes, private psychiatrist clinics would soon be permitted to provide ‘Take Home Dose Service’ for de-addiction treatment but first, they have to register at the online portal of OOAT clinics.
He revealed that as of now, more than 1.5 lakh patients are being treated by Private Centres and it is expected that this new mechanism will definitely galvanise the patients to get rid of the addiction menace and also increase the foot fall in the Government and Private drug de-addiction institutes.
He further revealed that State Government was continuously working on the remedy system and volunteers of buddy programme were daily visiting the educational institutions and villages to spread awareness among the youth about the ill effects of habit making drugs and opiod.
He said that extending the ‘Take Home Dose Service’ in the wider interest of Public, now against the prescription of Private Psychiatrists and Private De-addiction Centres, the medicine shall soon be dispensed from Pharmacy of Govt. De-addiction centres and OOAT clinics at fixed rate of Rs. 60/- per strip of ten tablets of Buprenorphine-Naloxone, which is almost approximately 10 times cheaper than Private De-addiction centres. He said that this facility will curb the huge expenditure on the pockets of patients.
Mr Singh Sidhu added that all user charges collected at Government De-addiction Centres would be deposited with the State Mental Health Authority. This money would be utilised for strengthening of de-addiction and rehabilitation services.
He added that monitoring of Registered Patients and Medicine dispensed was being done through Government Central Registry Portal to ensure patients follow up and to rationalise the medicine dispensation.
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