A total of seven lakh poor people have been guaranteed free treatment at hospitals in just 100 days with an average of 10,000 people in the country receiving free treatment under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here today.
With its emphasis on improving primary health care centres in the country, the BJP-led government is working to open 1.5 lakh centres by 2022, the Prime Minister said at the inauguration ceremony of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical and Research in Ahmedabad.
He said that the government has opened around 5000 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, where medicines are available for as much as 50 per cent below market rates.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Modi lauded Sardar Patel for his contribution to healthcare in the country.
"The country knows Patel Sahab as a visionary leader and a messiah for the farmers but along with that, he was very enthusiastic about cleanliness and health. He contributed to the implementation of a number of health services," Modi said.
"When he was the mayor of Ahmedabad, cleanliness and health were his top priorities. Today, wherever his soul is, will be greatly satisfied to see his city flourish in this way," he added.
He also praised the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and said it was among the few organisations in the country which can commit to making world-class facilities for the service of the people.
Built at a cost of Rs 750 crore by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the super-speciality hospital is equipped with modern amenities and equipment . "This 1500-bed hospital will take Ahmedabad's health services to a whole new level. This is the first government hospital with a helipad for the air ambulance," Modi said.
He also announced that along with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institue of Medical and Research, there would also be another hospital which will be affiliated with the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
"The poor people are afraid to even step into such hospitals, thinking that treatment will be very expensive there. But I am very satisfied to say that as part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the poor will receive treatment for free," Modi said.
"In little time, the Ayushman Bharat scheme has given a sense of security to the poor as far as health is concerned. 50 crore people now believe that during serious ailment, the government is with them, they no longer need to risk selling their homes and lands to pay for treatment," he added.
"We know the struggles of the poor and thus we are committed to providing equal opportunities for them in every section of the society. No one should be left behind because of the lack of opportunities. This is 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas', this is the foundation of New India," Modi said.
The Prime Minister is presently on a three-day visit to Gujarat, starting today. He will be visiting Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and Hazira.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)