February 24, 2021 4:13:42 am
Underlining that the government will implement a four-pronged strategy for the health sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the private sector to partner with the public sector on creation of cutting-edge health technologies.
Addressing a webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions in the health sector, Modi said the government treats health issues in a “holistic manner”, and that “focus is on wellness and not just in treatment”.
He said: “The government is working with a four-pronged strategy. First, prevention of illness and promotion of wellness…. Second, to provide cheap and effective treatment to the poorest of the poor…the third is to increase the quality and quality of health infrastructure and health care professionals…(and) fourth is to work on mission mode to overcome obstacles…like the Mission Indradhanush has been extended to the tribal and far-flung areas of the country.”
Modi said that as per recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, local bodies will get more than Rs 70,000 crore. He said, “…the government’s emphasis is not only on investment in healthcare but also to expand access to healthcare in far-flung areas…it should be ensured that these investments not only improve health but also increase employment opportunities.”
With the announcement of the National Digital Health Mission, where a health ID will be given to each citizen, Modi said the private sector should partner in the flagship initiative. He said “…the private sector can support PPP models in creating a network of public health laboratories as well as a stake in PM Ayushman Bharat. There may also be a partnership on the National Digital Health Mission, digital health records of citizens, and other cutting edge technology.”
He said that the Digital Health Mission would help common people get effective treatment as per their convenience. The country, he said, needs more wellness centers, district hospitals, critical care units, health surveillance infrastructure, modern labs, and telemedicine. “We have to ensure that the people of the country, whether they are the poorest of the poor and even if they live in remote areas, receive the best possible treatment,” he said.
Modi highlighted that India’s experience “demonstrated” during the Covid-19 pandemic has been appreciated by the world. “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…the demand for Indian doctors, Indian nurses, Indian paramedical staff, Indian medicines, and Indian vaccines will increase across the world,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that Indian industry should focus on making the country a “global supplier” of medical equipment in an “affordable and sustainable manner”. He, however, expressed disappointment on the pharma sector’s dependence on imports for raw materials.
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