(Eds: Recasts intro, adds more quotes) Madurai, Jan 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the NDA government was committed to strengthening initiatives for ensuring universal healthcare and the “pathpbreaking” Ayushman Bharat scheme is being implemented to holistically address health issues. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Inaugurates Rowing Centre in Srinagar
Addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone for Rs 1,264 crore AIIMS at Thoppur near here, he outlined the welfare initiatives taken by the Centre on the health care front. Also Read - COVID-19 Travel Guidelines For Kashmir: Coronavirus Test Mandatory For Those Travelling by Road
The AIIMS reflects the vision of “Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat,” he said. Also Read - Kashmir to Kanyakumari: Indian Army Man to Run 4000 Km in 50 Days, Aims For Guinness World Record
AIIMS in New Delhi had cultivated a brand name for itself in healthcare and with the AIIMS in Madurai to come up “we can say that this brand of health care has been taken to all corners of country from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to Madurai, from Guwahati to Gujarat,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the proposed AIIMS will benefit the entire Tamil Nadu, he said “the NDA government is giving great priority to health sector so that every one is healthy and healthcare is affordable.”
Through the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, the government has supported up gradation of government medical colleges across the country, he said.
The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana and other similar plans are making safe pregnancy a mass movement, he said.
Besides in Delhi, there are six other functional AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.
The Centre has also proposed to set up 14 news AIIMS across the country.
Expressing happiness over inaugurating the new super speciality blocks in Tamil Nadu government medical colleges, Modi referred to the Central government health initiative Mission ‘Indradhanush’.
The speed and scale of ‘danush’ (arrow) was working and seting a new paradigm in preventive health care.
The number of MBBS seats have been increased by almost 30 per cent in the last four-and-a-half years, he said.
The “Ayushman Bharat,” is a carefully thought out approach to ensure achievement of universal health coverage and it is a “pathbreaking intervention,” to holistically address health issues.
About 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres were being set up to provide comprehensive primary care and preventive health services, the Prime Minister said.
The PM Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) provides financial protection upto Rs 5 lach per family per year to cover over 10 core needy families in case of hospitalisaiton.
“It is the largest health insurance scheme in the world,” he said.
About 1.57 crore people in Tamil Nadu were covered under the scheme and in just over three months about 89,000 patients had undergone treatment for which more than Rs 200 crore had been authorised.
While the NDA government was committed to Tuberculosis elimination by 2025, the Prime Minister said he was happy to learn that Tamil Nadu intended to achieve the goal by 2023, and pledged the Centre’s support for it.
“I once again assure that my government is committed to strengthening the initiatives in health care to ensure universal health coverage,” Modi said.
He dedicated 12 passport seva kendras in Tamil Nadu and said this initiative was one more example of improving the ease of living for our citizens.
The proposed 750-bed modern AIIMS here, on its completion, will also offer 100 MBBS seats.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who participated in the function, thanked the Prime Minister for providing the AIIMS facility to Tamil Nadu and urged upon the Centre to set up a medical college at the backward Ramanathapuram district.
Earlier, the MDMK cadres, led by its chief Vaiko, staged a black flag demonstration against Modi shortly before he arrived here, accusing him of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu.
Police said the protesters were detained.
Releasing black baloons, the protesting party cadres raised slogans against Modi alleging that he betrayed the interests of Tamil Nadu on Cauvery and other issues.
In a counter move, BJP youth wing supporters put up posters sarcastically “welcoming Vaiko”.
amil Nadu unit BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan strongly condemned MDMK for the protest.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.