Karimnagar: President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday lauded the NDA government’s flagship health insurance programme, Ayushman Bharat, saying it was aimed at ensuring none were deprived of healthcare due to lack of financial resources.
Kovind stressed the need for strengthening public, municipal and charitable hospitals and primary health and wellness clinics across the country for better healthcare.
“Healthcare challenges are numerous and so are our achievements. The Ayushman Bharat initiative aims to ensure that nobody is deprived of healthcare due to lack of financial resources…,” he said in his speech at a programme in Prathima Hospitals here.
Kovind, on a four-day customary southern sojourn to the city, said he was happy to note that within the first three months of the launch of the scheme, six lakh people needing secondary and tertiary care had benefited. “…an amount of Rs 800 crore has been authorised for their treatment,” Kovind said.
The scheme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23 and billed as the world’s largest government healthcare programme, provides for health insurance cover of Rs five lakh each to 10 crore poor families per year.
The president said several cities in the country had emerged as preferred destinations for advanced medical treatment and medical tourism.
Thanks to the advancement in the field of medicine and improvement in the standard of living, the average life expectancy in India had more than doubled since independence, Kovind said.
The president said though the country had made remarkable progress in the healthcare index, there was still a long way to go in achieving a holistic healthcare system.
It should be uniformly affordable and accessible to the citizens both in rural and urban areas, he said.
He added the country had the highest number of patients suffering from sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia and other genetic blood disorders particularly prevalent among tribal communities.
Describing hemoglobinopathies, which encompasses all genetic diseases of haemoglobin, as a major health problem, the president said such ailments place an emotional, psychological and economic burden on families and medical professionals.
Healthcare operators have to rise to the occasion and take all necessary steps to address these disorders.
Creating awareness among the target groups and timely counselling was an important part in the step towards addressing the problem, he noted.
“Our healthcare professionals both from the private and public sector hospitals have to work closely with voluntary organisations and NGOs in the community to combat these diseases effectively,” he said, referring to diseases such as thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia.
Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana E S L Narasimhan, Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao also spoke on the occasion.