‘Healthcare for all creatures’: PM Modi pitches for ‘One Earth One Health’.

The government’s top priority is to make medical treatment affordable for all, said Prime minister Narendra Modi during his address at a post-budget webinar on health sector on Monday.

This was the ninth of a series of 12 post-budget webinars organised by the government to seek ideas and suggestions for effectively implementing the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.

“As the pandemic focused the global attention on health, India went a step further and focused on wellness. “That is why we have put forward a vision before the world – One Earth One Health. This involves holistic healthcare for all creatures -humans, animals or plants.”

He reiterated the lessons learnt with regards to supply chain during the pandemic and said that there were disruptions and that became a matter of great concern.

“Life-saving equipment like medicines, vaccines and medical devices were weaponised when the pandemic was at its peak. In previous years’ budgets, the government has constantly tried to reduce India’s dependence on foreign nations and emphasised the role of all stakeholders in this,” he said.

PM added that his government was making efforts to ensure that health no longer remained limited to health ministry but involved other government departments as well to make it more holistic.

“We are now pushing the whole-of-the-government approach instead of limiting the subject of health to just the health ministry. Making medical treatment affordable has been the top-most priority of our government, and through Ayushman Bharat, about 80,000 crore rupees of the poor patients were saved due to free treatment under the scheme,” he said.

He pointed out that affordable medicines through 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have saved about 20,000 crore rupees of the poor and middle classes all over the country. “This means that just these two schemes saved one lakh crore rupees of the citizens,” he added.

PM also underlined the importance of strong health infrastructure for the treatment of serious ailments. Highlighting the prime focus of the government, he informed that at least 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 said that facilities for screening serious ailments like diabetes, cancer and heart-related issues will also be available at these centres.

“Critical health infrastructure is being made accessible to small towns and villages under the PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission which is not only giving rise to new hospitals but it is also creating a new and complete health ecosystem. As a result, many opportunities are being created for health entrepreneurs, investors and professionals,” he said.

Highlighting the growing confidence of the world in the pharma sector of India, PM emphasised the need to capitalise on this and work towards protecting this image.

“A new programme is being launched to boost research and innovation in the pharma sector through centres of excellence which will strengthen the economy as well as create new opportunities for employment. The market size of the pharma sector in India is 4 lakh crores today,” he said.

“There is a need to find coordination between the private sector and academia as it has the potential to grow the market size beyond 10 lakh crores. The pharma sectors need to identify important areas for investment. New labs by ICMR have been opened up for the research industry,” he added.

Modi also emphasised on the need to establish India as the medical tourism hub globally as it is a large sector.

At the end, he stressed on the fact that a developed health and wellness ecosystem can be created in India only with Sabka Prayas (everyone’s efforts) and requested all stakeholders to give in their valuable suggestions.

“We should be able to implement the Budget provisions within the time limit for decided targets with a concrete roadmap. Realising all the dreams on the ground before the next Budget while taking all stakeholders along will require the benefit of your experience,” he concluded.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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