Seeking to provide more opportunities to Indian students in the field of medical education, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the private sector “to get into this field in huge quantities’’ and sought the intervention of State governments to make good policies in giving land for this type of work.
Speaking at a webinar on the Union Budget announcements on the health sector, Mr. Modi said: “Today our children are going to small countries of the world to study, especially for medical education. There is also the problem of language, yet they are going. Billions of rupees are going out of the country. Can’t our private sector get into this field in huge quantities? Can’t our State governments make good policies in giving land for this type of work? So that maximum doctors are ready with us, paramedics are ready.’’
The statement comes a day after the Indian Medical Association sought the urgent intervention of the PM in ensuring the safety of the large number of Indian students studying medicine in Ukraine following the Russian attack on the country.
The Prime Minister further added that Indian doctors have brought a lot of respect to India in the whole world for the last four to five decades. “Wherever India’s doctor has gone, he has won the heart of that country. The talent of the doctors of India is considered very good by the ordinary citizens of the world. This means our branding is done. Now we have to expedite the preparation of qualified people,’’ he said.
In his address the PM said that to strengthen the primary healthcare network, work on 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centers is also progressing at a brisk pace. Till now more than 85,000 centres are providing the facility of routine checkup, vaccination and tests. In the 2022-23 Budget, the facility of mental healthcare has also been added to them, he said.
On enhancing the medical human resources, the Prime Minister said, “As the demand for healthcare services is increasing, we are also trying to create skilled health professionals accordingly. Therefore, a significant hike is made in the budget for health education and human resource development related to healthcare as compared to last year.”
Speaking about the growing global acceptance of Ayush and stating that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is going to start its only Global Center of Traditional Medicine in India, Mr Modi said, “Today our focus is not only on health, but equally on wellness.’’
“Now it is up to all of us how to create better solutions of AYUSH for ourselves and for the world as well,” he added.
The PM spoke on the positive role of remote healthcare and telemedicine during the COVID pandemic and highlighted the upcoming 5G network and optical fiber network project for every village while again asking the private sector to come forward to increase their partnership. He also emphasised the promotion of drone technology for medical purposes. He congratulated the health sector for successfully running the world’s largest COVID vaccination campaign that has established the efficiency and mission-oriented nature of India’s healthcare system.
“The Budget builds upon the efforts to reform and transform the healthcare sector that have been undertaken during the last 7 years. We have adopted a holistic approach in our healthcare system,’’ he emphasised.
In his address, Mr. Modi elaborated on three factors that underline the efforts of making the health sector holistic and inclusive. These included expansion of modern medical science related infrastructure and human resources, promotion of research in the traditional Indian medical systems like Ayush and their active engagement in the healthcare system, and providing affordable healthcare to every citizen and every region of the country via modern and futuristic technology.
“It is our endeavor that critical healthcare facilities should be at the block level, at the district level, near the villages. This infrastructure needs to be maintained and upgraded from time to time. For this the private sector and other sectors will also have to come forward with more energy,” he added.
The PM also called upon the healthcare community to work with a set time frame on the task of taking these reforms forward with the help of technology, with a focus on improving the quality of medical education and making that more inclusive and affordable.
He lauded the platforms like CoWin and Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission which he said provide an easy interface between the consumer and healthcare provider. “With this, both getting and giving treatment in the country will become very easy,’’ he said.