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Janaushadhi scheme spared the poor from high medical expenses, says Modi
New Delhi, March 7, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Janaushadhi scheme had spared the poor from high medical expenses with poor and middle-class families saving about Rs 3,600 crore every year on expensive medicines.
On the occasion of "Janaushadhi Diwas" celebrations, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the 7,500th Janaushadhi Kendra at NEIGRIHMS, Shillong through video conference.
Union Ministers DV Sadananda Gowda, Mansukh Mandaviya and Anurag Thakur along with Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya and Deputy Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Gujarat attended the event.
He also interacted with the beneficiaries and the staff, the Kendra Sanchalak and Jan Aushadhi Mitras at five locations -- Shimla, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Maruthi Nagar (Diu) and Mangalore.
Exhorting them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, he pointed out that due to affordability, the patients were taking the required medicines leading to better health outcomes. He praised the youth for promoting the Janaushadhi movement and asked them to help in the ongoing COVID vaccine drive.
He urged the beneficiaries to spread the word about the benefits of Janaushadhi. “You are my family and your ailment is an ailment of my family members, that is why, I want all my countrymen to stay healthy,” he added.
He noted that the Janaushadhi Yojana was becoming a big friend of poor and middle-class families. It was becoming the medium of both service and employment. Dedication of the 7,500th centre of Janaushadhi at Shillong was an indication of the spread of Janaushadhi Centres in the Northeast. The scheme was providing affordable medications to people in hilly areas, Northeast and tribal areas. It was a significant achievement as there were not even 100 centres in India six years ago. The target was to open 10,000 centres across the country, he said.
The scheme was also promoting "Aatamnirbharta" (self-reliance) among women as more than 1,000 centres were being run by the women. To promote the scheme, the incentive has been enhanced from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh with an additional incentive of Rs 2 lakh for Dalit, Adivasi women and people of the Northeast.
He noted that the demand for India-made medicines and surgery has increased. Production was also going up to keep up with the demand. At present, 75 AYUSH medicines were also available in Jan Aushadhi centres. Patients will benefit by getting AYUSH medicines at cheap rates and the field of Ayurveda and AYUSH medicine will also be benefited.
Modi said that, for a long time, health was being taken up by the government only as a subject of just disease and treatment. However, it affects the economic and social fabric of the country. For a holistic approach to health, the Government has worked on the causes of disease too. He cited Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, free LPG connections, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Poshan Abhiyan and recognition to yoga to illustrate the Government approach towards health.
He referred to the UN recognition of the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He stressed the need to promote coarse grain as it will not only provide nutritious food grain but also add to the income of the farmers.
Pointing out the enormous burden of medical treatment on poor families, Modi said that, in recent years, efforts were being made to remove all types of discrimination in treatment and medical treatment has been made accessible to every poor person in the country.
For this, prices of essential medicines, heart stents, knee surgery-related equipment have been reduced. Ayushman Yojana has ensured free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh for more than 50 crore poor families. So far, more than 1.5 crore people have taken advantage of it and saved about Rs 30,000 crore.
He lauded the scientists for the Made in India coronavirus vaccine and said that, today, India has vaccines not only for local use but also for helping the world. The Government, keeping the interests of the poor and middle class for vaccination, has kept the rates low. The vaccination was free in the government hospitals and private hospitals are charging just Rs 250, the lowest in the world, he said.
He stressed the need for having infrastructure for effective treatment and the availability of quality medical staff. The Government has started working on a holistic approach in extending the health infrastructure from primary hospitals in villages to tertiary hospitals and medical colleges like AIIMS.
In the past six years, more than 30,000 seats have been added to the 55,000 MBBS seats that existed in 2014. Similarly, to the 30,000 PG seats, 24,000 additional seats have been added.
As many as 180 new medical colleges have been established in the last six years. Health and Wellness centres numbering 1.5 lakh have been established in villages, 50,000 of which have already started functioning. These centres were treating serious ailments and making sophisticated tests available locally, he said.