Funding for healthcare sector needs to be stepped up greatly: Dr Harsh Vardhan
The Union Minister said, "The massive increase of 137 percent in budgetary allocation for the sector will not only help strengthen our healthcare infrastructure but will also focus on areas of preventive health and holistic well being."
New Delhi: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed the inaugural session of TechBharat 2021. Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation have organized the 2nd edition of the conclave bringing together stakeholders from the HealthTech & Edutech sector on a virtual platform.
Techbharat is facilitating interactions & deliberations between thousands of domestic & global participants, including policymakers, government representatives, industry members, investors & start-ups to nurture resourceful partnerships and boost growth in the sectors.
In his address, Dr Harsh Vardhan said: "The funding for the healthcare sector needs to be stepped up greatly and it has to be ensured that there is equity in the delivery of healthcare. A radical improvement in government facilities for the poor, rather than only glitzy hospitals for the well-heeled along with the recent moves to lower prices of essential drugs and health equipment are steps in the right direction."
Reiterating the government's commitment towards the health & wellbeing of the citizens, he highlighted the highest ever funding for the sector in the Union Budget 2021-22. The Union Minister said, "The massive increase of 137 percent in budgetary allocation for the sector will not only help strengthen our healthcare infrastructure but will also focus on areas of preventive health and holistic well-being." He added, "The total sum allocated to the sector of more than Rs 2.2 lakh Crore, will be of immense help to the country at this critical juncture in ensuring healthier lives of our citizens while at the same time opening up enormous growth and employment opportunities."
He further said: "Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, the government has not only fulfilled its duty, by providing relief to the citizens in the unprecedented times of COVID-19 but has also turned the crisis into an opportunity by embarking on a mission to establish an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat to further growth & development."
Emphasizing how the learning from the country's yearlong fight with COVID19 has helped shape the Union Budget, Dr Harsh Vardhan said "Health has been identified as one of the key pillars to drive growth in the country." He added, "Expansion of integrated health information portal to all States & UTs to connect all public health labs, operationalization of new public health units and strengthening of existing ones at multiple points of entry in the country, setting up of 15 health emergency operation Centres and two mobile hospitals along with the setting up of a National Institution for One Health, regional research platform for WHO southeast Asia region office, 9 Biosafety Level 3 laboratories and 4 Regional institutes on the lines of National Institute of Virology, are some of the achievements which the country can be proud of."
Advocating for an integrated approach towards healthcare to provide holistic healthcare services, the Union Minister said, "Another realisation which has emerged over the years and gathered momentum during the pandemic has been to go back to our roots, to opt for a system of medicine that takes care of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of an individual." He further added, "There is a need to incorporate science-backed, research-based benefits of our traditional practices of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha in the delivery of healthcare and encourage our medical fraternity to incorporate these as part of a holistic healthcare package."
He further said: "I would also like to highlight the contribution of the Mission Poshan 2.0 scheme which strengthens nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes. This will merge supplementary nutritional programmes and Poshan Abhiyan and is proposed to adopt and intensify strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts. Again highlighting a holistic approach towards healthcare adopted by the Government."
Touching upon other health-related schemes he said: "Another important vertical which has been addressed is the renewed focus on Jal Jeevan Mission, the second phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) and the Clean Air Initiative which target the holistic health of India's citizens as these schemes are designed to reduce the disease burden of communicable diseases by curbing their transmission and prevent those caused by pollution.
He added "Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Aatma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana, with a massive outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over the next 6 years, will develop capacities of primary, secondary and tertiary care, health care systems, develop institutions for detection and cure of new and emerging diseases and strengthen the existing National Health Mission independent of it. The scheme will strengthen 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres, set up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 States establish critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions."
Dr Harsh Vardhan concluded the session by saying "My vision for India 2022 cannot but be the one visualised for the nation by Hon'ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi Ji. We have to work in unison to actualise his dream of a strong, flourishing nation that is at the forefront of the comity of nations by 2022. To arrive at the destination 'New India' a lot needs to be done, but if every citizen lends his shoulder to the wheel, the goal should be well within our reach."
Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka, Dr K Sudhakar, Member of Parliament, Shri Tejasvi Surya, President, Laghu Udyog Bharati, Shri P S Srikanta Dutta & Chairman, IMS Foundation, Shri H V S Krishna were also present for the inaugural session.