Ahead of the launch of the Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Scheme, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged doctors to be a part of this unprecedented opportunity to serve with sharp focus on cleanliness and affordable healthcare. He said the flagship scheme is expected to provide a fillip to India’s goal of achieving universal health coverage. At the 19th convocation and award ceremony of the National Board of Examinations (NBE), Naidu said, despite the progress on economic front, public and private financial resources continue to be scarce, there is a need to look at delivering healthcare at an affordable cost. In view of the low penetration of medical health insurance and an estimated 62.58 percent of the people meeting medical and hospitalization expenses on their own, the Center has conceived of Ayushman Bharat scheme, aiming to provide financial protection to 10.74 crore deprived rural families by offering a benefit cover of ₹5 lakh per family per year, he said.
“A large part of Indian population lives in rural India. Despite several governmental initiatives, we have been unable to provide adequate healthcare facilities to our rural people, the farmers and their families who feed us. “At present, most parts of rural India have limited access to specialist healthcare, and this crisis partly stems from reluctance of our doctors to go and work in rural centers. “We must find ways and means to ensure that every citizen benefit from the advancements in medicine. There have been many instances in which families have been driven into penury and debt-traps due to huge medical costs incurred on the treatment of their dear ones,” he said. Naidu urged doctors to go the rural areas and serve them. He also pitched for mandatory posting of fresh MBBS graduates in rural areas before granting them their first promotion as part of a possible solution to address the shortage of doctors in the hinterland.
The vice president further said medical tourism was becoming a reality and people from different parts of the world are coming to India for treatment. “In addition, there are a number of people who are looking towards India for holistic health practices including yoga and Ayurveda that can complement allopathic medicine. “Make India a trusted healthcare destination and lend a healing touch to the suffering humanity, a touch that only you can give with your knowledge, skills and attitude,” he said. Urging them to be empathetic towards the patients, Naidu urged them to also educate, advice and counsel them to follow cleanliness and maintain a good lifestyle. In his speech, he also asked them never be content or complacent with the status quo. “As medical scientists, epidemiologists and clinicians, you must continue your experiments with truth and extend the frontiers of scientific and medical knowledge.
“Knowledge, tempered with such values will always stand in you in good stead, sharpen your intellect and above all will make you a good human being. You must continue and enrich grand tradition and for this, it is crucial for you to develop critical thinking,” he said in a tweet. As doctors, you have an unprecedented opportunity to serve and be a part of this inclusive growth that India is aiming for with sharp focus on cleanliness and affordable healthcare, he said. “Make India a trusted healthcare destination and lend a healing touch to the suffering humanity, a touch that only you can give with your knowledge, skills and attitude,” he said. At the convocation ceremony, 306 doctors, including eight from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, received the Gold Medal in their respective specialty and 61 medical teachers were honored for their exemplary work in the field of modern medicine. The NBE also conferred degrees to 20,534 Post Graduates doctors. – Business Standard