President Pranab Mukherjee today said it was essential for India to have a modern healthcare system for all its citizens to enable it occupy its rightful place in the world and merely having high GDP figures is not enough.
“We need to have and ensure access for all to the modern and scientific healthcare system.
“Without an able body, an able mind cannot work. This is absolutely necessary in order to ensure our rightful place in the comity of nations,” he said after inaugurating the Sardar Patel multi-specialty and heart hospital here in Bharuch district of Gujarat.
The hospital has been built by a board of trustees and donors led by founder trustee, Congress MP and political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi — Ahmed Patel.
The President said a country with diseased and ill people cannot compete in the global arena.
“If we are sick, diseased, hungry and are not skilled… then even good figures of GDP and other statistical data will only look like a satisfaction but will not reflect the true picture,” he said.
He said the country has to ensure jobs and livelihood for all its citizens which requires a “collective participation” of the people.
He urged the trustees and doctors of the hospital to ensure good healthcare for the people of the region who, for the first time, have got a super-speciality hospital in their region.
Mukherjee said the often quoted talisman of Mahatma Gandhi to always think from the point of view of the poorest of poor before taking a new step, should be kept in mind.
Before this event, the President also visited the renovated ‘Sevashram’ hospital in Bharuch and unveiled statues of Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
He lauded these two great sons of India and Gujarat for not only ensuring the country’s independence but also placing strong foundation for its future.
He also praised the initiative of Ahmed Patel for making the dream of the first super-specialty hospital in Bharuch come true as he called this work “noble”.
Mukherjee quipped that he can claim himself to be a Gujarati from heart as he been a Rajya Sabha member from the state in the past.
The President is on a two-day tour to Gujarat after he arrived in Gandhinagar yesterday.