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President Hails Center’s Ayushman Bharat Program

Expressing happiness that the government, civil society, private and charitable institutions and other stakeholders were working together, President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said the Ayushman Bharat program will go a long way in providing medical cover, especially to underprivileged citizens. Speaking at the inauguration of a private super-specialty hospital here, the president emphasized the importance of quality and affordable healthcare services in the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. He pointed to the successes in meeting the challenges of traditional infectious and communicable diseases, and also to the changing disease patterns in the country that were giving rise to lifestyle-related ailments. The president, in his speech, said around 63 percent people in the country had to bear the cost of treatment of their family members and this made the poor even poorer, and they even had to sell their property for treatment. In this context, he said the Ayushman Bharat program, launched in 2018, will go a long way in providing medical cover, especially to the underprivileged citizens. Stating that quality healthcare services for everybody was a shared goal, Kovind said he was happy that the government, civil society, private and charitable institutions and other stakeholders were working together.

He expressed confidence that the hospital would provide state-of-the-art medical care to the people of the region at a reasonable cost. Referring to Mission Indradhanush, Kovind said intensive vaccination was being done and as many as 87 lakh pregnant women and 3.39 crore children were vaccinated. He also said for prevention of encephalitis, the ‘Action Plan 2018’ had been launched with the support of WHO and UNICEF. “As a result, deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis dropped in 2018, as compared to 2017. There has been a 68-percent drop in the deaths. The number of people getting infected to Japanese Encephalitis also dropped by 53 percent in the same period. This is a good sign. For this effort, doctors and para-medic staff, along with the government, should be praised,” the president said. “The priority of the government is to bring an improvement in the health of the people and for this, the health and medical infrastructure is being rapidly strengthened across the country,” he added. Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Union Home Minister and Lucknow MP Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi were present on the occasion. – Business Standard