Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions in the Health sector through video conference.
Addressing the webinar, the Prime Minister said the budget allocated to the health sector in this year’s budget is unprecedented and shows the Government’s commitment to provide better healthcare to every citizen.
Shri Modi recalled how the last year was very difficult and challenging owing to the pandemic and expressed happiness for overcoming the challenge and saving many lives. He credited the achievement to the combined efforts of the government and private sector.
The Prime Minister recalled how, within a few months, the country could set up a network of 2500 labs and how it could reach a milestone of 21 crore tests from a mere dozen tests.
The Prime Minister said Corona taught us a lesson that we not only have to fight the epidemic today but also to prepare the country for any such situation in future. Therefore, it is equally necessary to strengthen every field related to healthcare.
He said we have to focus on everything from medical equipment to medicines, from ventilators to vaccines, from scientific research to surveillance infrastructure, from doctors to epidemiologists so that the country is better prepared for any health disaster in future.
This is the inspiration behind the PM AatmaNirbharSwasth Bharat Scheme. Under this scheme, it has been decided that a modern ecosystem would be developed from research to testing and treatment in the country itself. This Scheme would increase our capabilities in every spectrum.
The Prime Minister said as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, local bodies will get more than Rs 70000 crore rupees keeping health services in mind. That is, the government’s emphasis is not only on investment in health care but also to expand the access to health care in far flung areas of the country. He stressed that it should be ensured that these investments not only improve health but also increase employment opportunities.
Shri Narendra Modi said the world now clearly appreciates the strength and resilience shown by India’s Health Sector owing to its demonstration of its experience and talent during the Corona Pandemic. He said the prestige and trust towards the country’s health sector has increased manifold all over the world and that now the country has to work towards the future while keeping this in mind.
He said the demand for Indian doctors, Indian nurses, Indian para medical staff, Indian medicines and Indian vaccines will increase across the world.
He said the World’s attention would definitely shift towards India’s Medical Education System and there would be a huge influx of foreign students to study medicine in India.
Shri Modi said we have to work faster after the great feat we achieved in manufacturing ventilators and equipment during the pandemic as there is an increased international demand for these.
He asked the participants, if India can dream of providing all the necessary medical equipment to the World in a cost effective manner? Can we focus on how to make India a global supplier in an affordable and sustainable manner with user friendly technology?
As opposed to the previous Governments, the Prime Minister said that the current government treats Health Issues in a holistic manner rather than in a fragmented manner. Therefore, the focus is on wellness and not just in treatment.
He added that a holistic and integrated approach is adopted from Prevention to Cure.
He said the Government is working with a four pronged strategy towards a healthy India.
The first is “Prevention of illness and Promotion of Wellness”. Measures such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, yoga, timely care and treatment of pregnant women and children are part of it.
The second is to “provide cheap and effective treatment to the poorest of the poor”. Schemes like Ayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Jan AushadhiKendras are working towards the same.
The third is to “increase the quality and quality of health infrastructure and health care professionals”. Since last 6 years, Expansion of institutions like AIIMS and increasing the number of medical colleges all over the country are attempting this.
The fourth is to “work on mission mode to overcome obstacles”. Mission Indradhanush has been extended to the tribal and far-flung areas of the country. He said India has advanced its target to eradicate TB by five years to 2025 from the World’s target of 2030. The Prime Minister said the protocols adopted in preventing Corona Virus can also be similarly adopted for preventing TB as the disease spreads through droplets of the infected people. Wearing masks and early diagnosis and treatment are also important in prevention of TB.
The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of the AYUSH sector during the Corona period. He said our AYUSH’s infrastructure has also been of great help in the country regarding increasing immunity and scientific research. He said the world is experiencing the impact of traditionals medicines and masalas in improving the health along with the vaccine in controlling the COVID-19. He announced that WHO is going to establish a Global Center of Traditional Medicine in India.
The Prime Minister stressed that this is the opportune moment to take the accessibility and affordability of the health sector to its next level. He urged the enhanced use of modern technology in the health sector to achieve this goal. He said Digital Health Mission would help the common people to get effective treatment as per their convenience. He said these changes are very much important for AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
Shri Modi said that though India has become the pharmacy of the world today but is still dependent on imports for the raw materials. He lamented that such dependence does not augur well for our industry and this is a huge obstacle in providing affordable medicines and health care to the poor.
The Prime Minister announced that for self-reliance four schemes have been launched in the latest Union Budget.
Under this, Production Linked Incentives are given for production of medicines and medical equipment in the country. Likewise mega parks for Medicines and Medical devices are being set up. He said the country needs wellness centers, district hospitals, critical care units, health surveillance infrastructure, modern labs and telemedicine. He stressed the need to work at every level and to promote each level. He said we have to ensure that the people of the country, whether they are the poorest of the poor, even if they live in remote areas, receive the best possible treatment. He said for these to happen the central government, the state governments and local bodies of the country should work together to get better results.
The Prime Minister said the private sector can support PPP models in creating a network of public health laboratories as well as a stake in PMJAY. There may also be a partnership on the National Digital Health Mission, digital health records of citizens and other Cutting Edge Technology.