Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday targeted previous governments, saying that they looked at poor people as a “vote-bank” while throwing freebies at them to win elections.
“We have junked vote-bank politics as our motto has been Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas [development for all],” the Prime Minister said at the national-level launch of mega healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, at Ranchi in Jharkhand.
“They [previous governments] thought the poor always ask for one thing or the other as the poor do not have self-respect, but I have lived in poverty, have seen the self-respect of poor people … so through this scheme, we have caught the genesis of poverty and focussed on empowerment of poor people,” he said.
“Those who won medals in Asian games recently were from remote villages, poor families … we have to identify poor people and give them the opportunity to excel in life,” Mr. Modi said.
“Our government thinks of health in a holistic manner. While we are investing to improve the infrastructure and human resources to provide medical care, we are also working towards preventive health care, be it the ODF (open-defecation free) mission, the scheme for concrete houses or others … all help towards improving the health sector,” he said.
While launching a toll free number 14555 for people to get information about the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for two medical colleges to be opened in Koderma and Chaibasa districts and 10 wellness centres in the State.
The five first beneficiaries, Manju Devi Hembrom, Ruby Pravin, Chandan Kumar Ram, Mukesh Kumar and Poonam Devi, were given e-cards of the scheme.
“There will be 50 crore people who benefit under this scheme and for this, 13,000 hospitals across the country have been coordinated … this scheme will strengthen our health services,” the Prime Minister said.
“In the past four years, proposals for opening 14 All India Institutes of Medical Sciences and 82 medical colleges in the country have been given,” he said.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said the medical journal Lancet had hailed Ayushman Bharat as a “paradigm shift” in health care.
Health scheme launch historic, says Shah
New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday hailed as historic the launch of the health insurance scheme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the government had given the poor the right to live with dignity with its various schemes. He said the poor were at the centre of the Modi government’s projects.