Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said there could not be two Indias as he highlighted the acute shortage of doctors as also healthcare facilities in the rural areas when compared to cities. India has less than one doctor for every 1000 population. Naidu said the rural areas were much less covered as compared to urban areas. There is an urban-rural divide that needs urgent attention and action, said Naidu. He also said, we cannot have two Indias, with the cities having the state-of-the-art facilities and the rural areas lagging behind. There has to be a collaborative public-private partnership to remedy the situation. However, the private sector health facilities must not only be accessible to the needy and poor, but must also be affordable.

Stating that the country was at a defining moment of its history, it was a moment of formidable challenges and also a moment of widening opportunities. By 2030, the country was likely to be the youngest nation in the world with nearly 140 million people ready to enter institutions of higher education. One in every four graduates in the world will most likely be a product of the Indian higher education system and the country can leverage the demographic dividend if the quality of education was improved. Naidu noted that the demand for healthcare services in the country would undoubtedly be growing and the range of healthcare issues to be addressed would be among the broadest in the entire world. The country has a long history of ayurveda, yoga, and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. – Business Standard

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