Promising ‘extraordinary’ steps in the health sector by the Modi government, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan today said a mass movement will be built for implementing various policies and programmes in the coming months. ‘I can say with confidence that our government under the leadership of Narendra Modi is committed to health sector in the country and intends to do extraordinary work in this field,’ the Health Minister said.
In this regard, he called for building a ‘mass-movement’ involving everyone in the policies and programmes so as to make India a healthy society. The Minister said everyone should take pride in the fact that India today is a polio-free country.
The government has earmarked Rs 39,237.82 crore for the health sector in this year’s general budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also promised that the government would take up on priority basis initiatives such as providing free drugs and diagnostic services while aiming to ensure ‘Health for All’.
He had also announced earmarking of Rs 500 crore to set up four more AIIMS-like institutes. Both Vardhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were attending the foundation day celebration of International Vaish Federation which was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah. The Speaker called upon the Vaish community to work for the welfare of the citizens. Men and women should commit themselves to the betterment of society, she said.
Improve healthcare services in rural areas
The former minister Ghulam Nabi Azad tried hard to convince docs to spend some time in rural areas without much success and Dr Harsh Vardhan is walking down the same road, perhaps convinced that it’ll improve healthcare services. Replying in Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said the central government would create a mechanism to ensure docs are available in rural dispensaries and centres. ‘One way to do it, which will be feasible and acceptable to all, is that during the PG courses, medical students can be asked to spend a fixed duration in rural health centres,’ Harsh Vardhan said.
Malaria and dengue prevention
The minister asked all states to take malaria and dengue prevention measures on a war footing and hoped to make a new beginning in battling these ailments. ‘Dengue and malaria strikes with sickening regularity every year resulting in many deaths. Prevention of this tragedy is easy only if the prevention protocol is implemented with commitment,’ he said. ‘Let us make a new beginning. Let us not be complacent if the number of victims this year is less than last year’s. We must aim for zero incidences within two to three years,’ he said. He believes that 80% success rate is feasible if well-known preventive measures are implemented.