New Delhi: Stressing on the need for de-politicizing the discussions on health policy and infrastructure, and adopting a more holistic approach across the whole spectrum of the populace, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare stated that “a healthy India will be a wealthy India”.
Speaking at the Public Affairs Forum of India’s (PAFI) 9th Annual Forum 2022, Dr Mandaviya pointed out that the health infrastructure is being propagated across the country via the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with a microcosm of public hospitals mushrooming along with private medical colleges.
He further stated that the 22 AIIMS have been planned across the country to gear up the tertiary level of health infrastructure and promotion of the same PPP model to enable immediate care and welfare of the small blocs and cities and integration with national health policy as envisioned by the PM.
Explaining how the country successfully managed COVID-19, he mentioned that the government had started efforts to understand the virus much before it came to India, and accordingly planned and prepared beforehand to face the pandemic.
Talking about why the health infrastructure to GDP ratio is declining in India, Dr Mandaviya explained that every country has its own model specific to its people. In India, healthcare expenditure is lower as compared to other nations. Still, the government is very much concerned about the health of its people and has assigned a budget of Rs 100 crores for each district to implement Ayushman Bharat scheme in the next five years.
He further said that the government is following the holistic approach in planning and building healthcare models for the country. The government is following two models for healthcare; under one it has launched the Ni-kshay Mitra scheme for the eradication of TB from India by 2025 and invoked people to adopt nine lakh TB patients. Under the second PPP arrangement, Ayushman Bharat Scheme has been extended to 24000+ private hospitals, thus enabling business to private hospitals and ensuring healthcare for all, creating a win-win situation for every stratum of society.
The Union Minister also emphasised on the need for inclusive healthcare for all across all strata and said that a policy is under consideration for the missing middle class as well.