Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a three-day visit to his home state of Gujarat, on Thursday said that in the last 100 days, as many as 700,000 poor people have been treated under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. He was inaugurating the 1500-bed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital in Ahmedabad, built on the premises of VS Hospital, run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The state-of-the-art public hospital built at a cost of Rs 750 crore is equipped with all modern amenities, including an air ambulance. “Ayushman Bharat has instilled confidence in 50 crore poor people of the country that in times of serious illness, the government is standing with them. They do not have to mortgage their land or homes for getting treatment. They are now assured that treatment can be availed even if you don’t have money,” Modi said. He said that every day, as many as 10,000 poor people are likely to benefit from Ayushman Bharat. “This hospital will prove to be a model for other government hospitals in the country,” Modi said. In the last four years, health facilities and medical education have been given a boost as more than 18,000 MBBS seats and more than 13,000 post graduate seats have been added during this period, he said.
Meanwhile, the Modi government was hailed by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on the completion of the first 100 days of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which aims to provide medical coverage to poor families. “Congratulations to the Indian government on the first 100 days of @AyushmanNHA. It’s great to see how many people have been reached by the program so far. @PMOIndia,” Gates tweeted. On Friday, Modi will inaugurate the ninth edition of the biennial investors’ summit that is being held in Gandhinagar from 18 to 20 January. The leaders of five countries and over 30,000 national and international delegates, including CEOs of major companies from India and abroad, are expected to attend. Indian business tycoons who are expected to attend include Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Adani group chairman Gautam Adani, chairman of Godrej group Adi Godrej and Cadila Healthcare chairman Pankaj Patel. CEOs and top executives of global firms like German chemical company BASF, Russian oil producer Rosneft, DP World, Suzuki, and Maersk group are also expected at the event. PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Silvassa, the capital of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, during the visit, according to the state government. – Livemint