Turnover of Janaushadhi Kendras could touch ₹600 crore: Minister

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and others at the Janaushadhi Diwas celebration at Brahmavar in Udupi district on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda said on Sunday that the turnover of Janaushadhi Kendras in the country was likely to touch ₹600 crore during 2020-21. It was ₹7.29 crore back in 2013-14.

Speaking at a videoconference meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Brahmavar in Udupi district while celebrating the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Diwas, he said that between 1 crore and 1.25 crore people purchased medicines from Janaushadhi Kendras in the country monthly. The number of kendras stood at 7,500 now, from a mere 86 in 2014, he said. Now all the districts are covered by the scheme. “The scheme has a cascading effect on the citizens,” Mr. Gowda said, before adding that it had led to annual savings of about ₹3,600 crore for the common man. “The popularity of the kendras can be judged from the fact that people refer to them as Pradhan Mantri ji ki dukan.”

The product basket of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana(PMBJP) has evolved from a mere 131 products in 2014 to 1,449 medicines and 204 surgical items now, he said. The Minister said the kendras had served the people well during the pandemic. “The sale of medicines has actually increased, with a 60% growth in the first two quarters of 2020-21 when compared to the corresponding period of the last financial year,” he said.

K. Padmanabha Kamath, interventional cardiologist and professor and head of the Department of Cardiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru, also interacted at the programme.

The Cardiology at Doorsteps Foundation, founded by Dr. Kamath, has donated ECG machines to 30 Janaushadhi Kendras in six districts of the State. The trained personnel in those kendras conduct ECG tests for the needy. Later, the personnel at the kendras upload the ECG report to a WhatsApp group called ‘Kayakalpa’, created by the CAD Foundation. If emergency medical treatment is required, after reading the report Dr. Kamath suggests that such persons approach a nearby hospital.

PM’s appreciation

Mr. Modi appreciated Dr. Kamath for his efforts. He said that Dr. Kamath had upheld the sanctity of the medical profession as people considered it a gift to serve mankind. “The doctor has inherited service-mindedness.”

During the interaction, the doctor told Mr. Modi that over 100 heart attack complications had been averted through the strategic intervention of the ECG machines at the Janaushadhi Kendras in the past three years.

Dr. Kamath also said that many people had mocked him when CAD Foundation decided to donate the ECG machines to the kendras. “But we had realised that there was a need for ECG machines in rural and remote areas,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 5:06:56 PM |

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