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The country needs at least 600 medical colleges, 50 AIIMS-like institutions and 200 super-specialty hospitals, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday. He was speaking at the felicitation of COVID-19 warriors in Karad city of Maharashtra's Satara district

The Union minister called for the need to replicate the infrastructure development sector's public-private partnership model in the health care and education sectors. The cooperative sector should also come forward to set up medical facilities, Gadkari added.

“Once during a discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I told him about the scarcity of ventilators. He asked me how many ventilators were there in the country, to which I replied there must be around 2.5 lakh. But he told me that there were only 13,000 ventilators when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the country," Gadkari said.

Doctors, paramedical, nurses helped a lot in those times when there was a lack of lack of oxygen, beds, and other medical facilities, the minister said, adding, “I appreciate their work."

Apart from the government-run hospitals, the contribution of medical facilities set up by the cooperative and private sectors was commendable, the road transport minister said.

"The public-private investment model in the road and infrastructure development sector can be replicated in health care and education sectors. The country needs a minimum of 600 medical colleges, 50 AIIMS-like institutions and 200 super-specialty hospitals. The government is also thinking of providing help to those social organisations that work in medical and education sectors," Gadkari said.

He also stressed the need to have at least one veterinary hospital in every tehsil.

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