Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage on Monday, at the United Nations in New York. PM Modi said, “World welfare begins with people’s welfare, and health is an important component of it. And in line with this global principle, India is laying great emphasis on health.” He added, “On this issue, we are working on four pillars with a holistic approach.”
Modi said that the first pillar is preventive healthcare and the government has focused on Yoga, Ayurveda and Fitness. “The government is setting up more than 1,25,000 wellness centres and with the help of these, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, depression etc. can be controlled,” he said. “The rising craze of e-cigarettes is a matter of concern. To save the youth from this serious danger, the Indian government has banned e-cigarettes,” he added.
Speaking about the ‘Clean India’ mission, he said, “Our Clean India mission has contributed to saving millions of lives. We have also specially emphasised on immunization."Other than with introducing new vaccines, we have been successful in reaching far-flung areas with our vaccination programmes.”
PM Modi mentioned that the second pillar is affordable healthcare. He said, “We have launched the world’s largest health insurance scheme- Ayushman Bharat. Under this scheme, 500 million poor, have been given the facility of free treatment worth up to Rs 5,00,000 every year. In the last year, 4.5 million people have been benefited from this.” He said the government has also opened more than 5000 public medicine centres where more than 800 varieties of medicines are available at affordable prices.
The Prime Minister said, “The price of stents for the heart has been reduced by up to 80% and the cost of knee implants has been cut by 50 to 70%. “Hundreds of thousands of people are also taking advantage of the free dialysis services provided by the government.” Talking about the third pillar, that is the improvement on the supply side, PM Modi said that India’s focus has been on establishment of modern institutes for quality medical education.
"The fourth pillar is mission-mode intervention, the PM Modi said, elaborating that in order to improve the health of women and children, a national nutrition campaign and other new programmes have been launched in mission mode. He said that while the United Nations has set a deadline of 2030 in its Sustainable Development Goals, for ending the Tuberculosis epidemic, India has set a target of 2025 for itself to eradicate TB.
PM Modi said, “Access to not just a disease-free life, but to a healthy life is a right of all people, and for this, the onus is on the government and social institutions to prepare and provide necessary services. Under this responsibility, by way of Yoga, Ayurveda and telemedicine, India is increasing access to affordable healthcare to many countries, especially to African countries.”
Modi concluded his address with a Sanskrit proverb 'Sarve Bhvantu Sukhin, Sarv Santu Nirmaya’ that translates into “wishing all happiness, wishing all a disease-free life.”