23 September 2019
New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday outlined the four pillars of his government's health policy, and declared that India is on mission mode to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025.
Addressing the first-ever High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the UN, he said that health is an important ingredient of a nation's well-being.
"We have a holistic approach for health that rests on four pillars," he said.
The first is preventive healthcare, which includes yoga, ayurveda and fitness - "we have stressed on this", he said.
The government is also setting up more than 1.25 lakh wellness centres to tackle lifestyle diseases like BP, diabetes, and depression.
Modi said that e-cigarettes has become a craze among the youth, which is a matter of grave concern.
"To save our youth, we have banned this," he said.
He said the government's Clean India mission has helped save millions of lives.
The government is stressing on immunisation and on improved access to immunisation facilities in far-flung areas, he added.
Modi said his government has started affordable healthcare with Ayushman Bharat, under which poor people are to be given Rs 500,000 a year for treatment. In the one year since its launch, 4.5 million people have availed of it, he added.
The government has also launched 5,000 special pharmacies where 800 important medicines would be available at affordable rates for the people.
He said heart stents were being made available at 80 percent, and knee implants at 50-70 percent lowered prices. Kidney patients are getting free dialysis.
The Prime Minister also said improvement was brought in the supply side of healthcare, and also stressing on providing quality medical education and medical infrastructure.
The fourth pillar was mission mode intervention.
"If the mother and child are healthy, then the entire society gets a strong foundation. Our government has launched the National Poshan Mission or national nutrition mission," he said.
He said the government would eradicate tuberculosis in mission mode by 2025. "I am confident we can achieve the target," he said.
He said the government was also focusing on air pollution, and on diseases transmitted from animals to humans.
"Not just disease-free, but also leading a healthy lifestyle. The government is striving for this," he said.
Modi said that India is not just concerned about its own people but also helping other developing countries. It has begun telemedicine in Africa. "Our efforts are for every country," he added.
He ended by reciting the Sanskrit shloka: "Sarve bhavantu sukhinah sarve santu niramaya" (May all be happy, may all be free from illness).