New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government aims to provide the poor and middle classes access to affordable and quality healthcare through a series of policy interventions.

Affordable healthcare and prevention of diseases are high on the government’s agenda, Modi said while laying the foundation stone of the National Centre for Aging at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the capital.

“In the last four years, a new direction has been given to public healthcare in India. The existing healthcare infrastructure is being upgraded, and good healthcare facilities are being extended to Tier II and Tier III cities. The rural development ministry, drinking water and sanitation ministry, women and child development ministry, and Ayush ministry are all involved in this multi-disciplinary approach," Modi said.

Modi said his government’s vision is not limited to hospitals, diseases, medicines and super specialty care but also extends to the idea that affordable and equitable healthcare should be ensured for every citizen.

“The government is equipping existing hospitals with all modern facilities and at the same time making sure that healthcare facilities reach the remotest areas of the countries. A total of 58 district hospitals are being upgraded to medical colleges and the government has also sanctioned budgets for 24 new medical colleges," he said.

“Under the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission, 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 500 million beneficiaries) will be provided a coverage of up to 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme," Modi added.

The National Centre for Aging will provide elderly people with multi-speciality healthcare. It will have 200 general-ward beds.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated a 555-bed super speciality block in Safdarjung Hospital.