Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

India has taken historic steps to ensure universal health: Modi

  • The country is focusing on four main pillars of universal health—preventive health, affordable healthcare, supply side interventions and mission mode intervention, says Modi
  • Modi says with an increased awareness about cleanliness, possibility of saving hundreds of thousands of lives has also increased

Addressing a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in New York on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government having a clear focus on health has taken historic steps to ensure affordable health for all.

“We have launched the world's largest health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat for ensuring quality universal health services for all.

The summit was held for launching new efforts to provide access for all to affordable, inclusive and resilient health systems.

“World welfare begins with people's welfare, and health is an important component of it. And in line with this global principle, India is laying great emphasis on health," said Modi.

“India has adopted a multi-sectoral approach towards the health sector. The country is focusing on four main pillars of universal health. These are preventive health, affordable healthcare, supply side interventions and mission mode intervention," he said.

Modi said his government's preventive healthcare has important areas of preventive healthcare which are Yoga and Ayurveda. He said that he has recently launched Fit India Movement.

“With the help of these systems, we can control lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, depression etc," said Modi.

Mentioning about Clean India Campaign, Modi said that with an increased awareness about cleanliness, possibility of saving hundreds of thousands of lives has also increased.

“In yet another step towards preventive healthcare, we have planned more than 125,000 wellness centres. We are also paying attention on immunization. Along with introducing new vaccines, we have also reached out to areas difficult to reach in our vaccination programmes," he said.

Emphasising on the second pillar of healthcare - affordability, the prime minister said that Ayushman Bharat is a historic step in this direction.

“Ayushman Bharat is being implemented successfully. Under this scheme, 500 million poor, have been given the facility of free treatment worth up to Rs5,00,000 every year. The government has also opened more than 5000 public medicine centres (Jan Aushadhi Kendra), more than 800 varieties of medicines are available at affordable prices," said Modi.

“In our efforts to ensure affordable healthcare, we have slashed the cost of stents by 80% and cut down the cost of knee implants by 50 to 70%. Hundreds of thousands of people are also taking advantage of the free dialysis services provided by the government," he said.

On the supply side, Modi said, India's focus has been on establishment of modern institutions for quality medical education.

Modi also mentioned about national nutrition campaign and other new programmes for improving the health of women and children.

Modi said that the his government has also increased the seats in medical colleges for improvement in health resources.

He stated that while the United Nations has set a deadline of 2030 in its Sustainable Development Goals, for ending the tuberculosis epidemic, the target year that India has set for itself to end TB is 2025.

“With holistic healthcare and for making healthy body, mind and environment, our government has started a campaign against diseases spread due to air pollution and through animals," Modi said.

"Access to not just a disease-free life, but to a healthy life is the right of all people, and for this the responsibility is on the government and social institutions to prepare and provide requires services.

Under this responsibility, by way of Ayurveda, Yoga and telemedicine, India is increasing access to affordable healthcare to many countries, especially to African countries, The prime minister said.

Modi concluded his address with a Sanskrit proverb 'Sarve Bhvantu Sukhin, Sarv Santu Nirmaya' that translates into “wishing all happiness, wishing all a disease-free life."

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