New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that making treatment affordable in the country has been the top priority of the government. He said the focus is on the maximum use of technology in the health sector as the role of technology is continuously increasing in making healthcare affordable and accessible.
Mr. Modi stated this while addressing the post-Budget webinar on Health and Medical Research. He said Ayushman Bharat and Jan Aushadhi schemes have saved more than one lakh crore rupees of patients from poor and middle classes.
He noted the absence of an integrated long-term vision for health for many decades saying the Centre has not confined healthcare to the Health Ministry only, but has emphasized on the whole of the government approach.
Underlining the importance of strong health infrastructure, Mr. Modi informed that over 1.5 lakh health centres are being developed in close proximity to homes across the country so that testing centres and first aid are available.
He also informed that facilities for screening serious ailments including diabetes, cancer and heart-related issues will also be available at these centres.
The Prime Minister said that critical health infrastructure is being made accessible to small towns and villages under the PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.
Mr. Modi informed that over 260 medical colleges have been opened in the past years while the number of medical seats has doubled after 2014. He added that the opening of 157 new nursing colleges near medical colleges is a big step for medical human resources.
He also said, special emphasis has been given to the nursing sector in this year’s Union Budget to fulfil the future requirements.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the government wants to give timely healthcare to the citizens through the facility of Digital Health ID. He added that 5G is creating new opportunities in this sector for startups.
Drones are bringing revolutionary changes in medicine delivery and testing services. Mr. Modi noted the impact of the government’s efforts on preventive healthcare.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the role of millets-Shri Anna in the International Year of Millets. Highlighting the growing confidence of the world in the pharma sector of India, Mr. Modi emphasized the need to capitalize on this and work towards protecting this image. He informed that a new programme is being launched to boost research and innovation in the pharma sector.
Talking about COVID-19, the Prime Minister reiterated the lessons learnt with regard to supply chain during the pandemic and said that it has become a matter of great concern.
Mr. Modi underlined that in previous years’ Budgets, the government has constantly tried to reduce India’s dependence on foreign nations and emphasized the role of all stakeholders in this. He also urged all the stakeholders of the health sector, especially of the Ayurveda, to strengthen the evidence-based research.