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Centre linked health sector with development to ensure healthcare for all

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said the government has worked in the last 10 years by linking the health sector with development to ensure every citizen gets healthcare facilities with the same quality standard.

The minister made the remarks as he virtually addressed the fifth Foundation Day celebration of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of AIIMS, Jhajjar.

Addressing the gathering, Mandaviya said, “The way the NCI has progressed over the last five years is a testament to the skill and dedication of the doctors, nurses and other health workers involved in the day to day functioning of the institute.” He encouraged the institute to continue delivering quality healthcare to the patients.

It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream that the country should become Ayushman, where health facilities become affordable, accessible and available to every citizen, Mandaviya said.

“There should be no discrimination between rich and poor for treatment. To ensure that everyone gets healthcare facilities with the same quality standard, the government has worked in the last 10 years by linking the health sector with development,” he stressed.

On the achievements of the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY and Ayushman Arogya Mandir scheme, Mandaviya said, “By providing a family health insurance of Rs 5 lakh annually to 60 crore people of the country, free treatment for serious diseases has been provided. Under this scheme, today even the poor get their treatment in those hospitals where earlier only rich people used to get their treatment.” “Till now, more than six crore people have received treatment under this scheme, due to which these poor people have saved more than Rs 1,12,500 crore,” Mandaviya said.

“One of the purposes behind establishing over 1.64 lakh Ayushman Arogya Mandirs is to ensure that primary cancer screening is done in the first stage itself. Today, complex operations are being conducted in district hospitals as well,” he added.

The health minister said that Ayushman Bharat Yojana has not only saved the lives of crores of people but has also kept them from falling below poverty.

On India’s successes in the endeavour to eliminate TB by 2025, Mandaviya said, “Under the Prime Minister’s TB Free India Campaign, every year 25 lakh TB patients of the country are provided free medicines, testing, nutrition etc. in which approximately Rs 3,000 crore is spent annually.” “Apart from this, a financial assistance of Rs 500 per month is also given to the TB patients in which Rs 2,756 crore has been paid directly into the accounts of the patients in the last five years,” he added.

Mandaviya also highlighted that 10 lakh TB patients of the country are being adopted by service-minded citizens and are also distributing nutrition to them every month.

He also mentioned the Indian government’s sickle cell elimination programme in which sickle cell screening of about seven crore people will be done in three years and medicines for sickle cell will be made available for free, on which the government will spend about Rs 910 crore.

The health minister also presided over the signing of a collaboration agreement between University of Liverpool and AIIMS, New Delhi, for “AIIMS Liverpool Collaborative Centre for Translational Research in Head and Neck Cancer ‘ ALHNS”.

The ALHNS will impact the care of the patients with head and neck cancer by combining resources at both institutions in order to develop joint research and education programmes, which will enhance the quality of research outputs and education. PTI

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