Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the National Centre for Ageing at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Friday. The 200-bed centre will be built at a cost of Rs. 300 crore.
The Prime Minister inaugurated a 1-km motorable tunnel connecting the AIIMS main building to its trauma facility to transfer patients and their relatives, doctors, instruments and medicine. The construction of the tunnel started in 2012 and cost Rs. 40 crore.
“We want to provide the best healthcare to our people at the lowest possible cost. We have proposed and approved more numbers of AIIMS than it was done in the past 70 years,” Mr. Modi said.
He said the government’s vision was not limited to providing modern hospitals and medicines and hence it introduced a national health policy to ensure low-cost treatment for every citizen and to eradicate the causes of diseases.
Mr. Modi talked about the two pillars of the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat, as part of which 1.5 lakh sub-centres are being converted into health and wellness centres to screen tuberculosis, leprosy, diabetes, hypertension and breast, oral and cervical cancers.
He talked about the National Health Protection Scheme which aims to provide a cover of Rs. 5 lakh a family a year to 10 crore vulnerable families.
Reiterating India’s commitment to eradicate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global target, Mr. Modi said he had faith that the healthcare sector of the country would meet the challenge.
He also inaugurated a 300-bed Powergrid Vishram Sadan at AIIMS, and at Safdarjung Hospital dedicated a 555-bed super-speciality block and a 500-bed emergency block to the public.
“Over Rs. 1,300 crore was spent on the Safdarjung Hospital to make it technologically advanced,” Mr. Modi said.
During his brief stay at the AIIMS, Mr. Modi also visited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is undergoing treatment for a urinary tract infection.
(With PTI inputs)