New Delhi: Launching a nationwide healthcare scheme for the poor, the needy and the middle-income families, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated the 7,500th Janaushadhi Kendra at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) in Shillong. People availing the scheme will be able to save nearly Rs 50,000 crore annually with the help of various health-related measures like providing affordable medicines, healthcare and reducing the prices of medical devices. Also Read - After PM Modi's Request to Keep Kumbh Mela 'Symbolic', Juna Akhada Calls Off Celebrations

Interacting with the beneficiaries ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’, PM Modi noted how medicines are expensive. “I urge people to buy medicines at affordable cost from ‘Modi ki Dukaan’ (as people like to call it).” Also Read - FACT CHECK: Has Modi Govt Announced Nationwide Lockdown Till April 30? Know Truth Behind Viral Message

He said the move to provide affordable medicines through the Janaushadhi scheme is spreading across the length and breadth of the country. Also Read - CBSE Class 10, 12 Board Exams 2021: PM Modi Likely To Announce Nationwide Guidelines For Board Exams Today

Sanitary Pads Affordable For All Women

Ahead of International Women’s Day, PM Modi also announced that under the scheme, sanitary pads are available for women at just Rs 2.5 at the Janaushadhi centres, making them accessible at an affordable price to a sizable group of women in rural districts.

Till now more than 11 crore sanitary napkins have been sold through these centres and under the Janaushadhi Janani mission, and important nutrition, as well as supplements for pregnant women, are being provided through the centres.

Stating that poor and middle-class families are saving about Rs 3,600 crore every year on expensive medicines through the scheme, PM Modi said it is promoting ‘Aatamnirbharta’ among women as more than 1,000 centres are being run by the women.

Healthcare Not Just For Treating Disease

“Today when the 7500th centre has been inaugurated in Shillong. It is clear from this how much public health centres are expanding in the Northeast. We had less than 100 Janaushadhi centres till 2014.

“We want to reach the target of opening 10,000 centres very soon. I want to request state governments to take a pledge for 75 Janaushadhi centres each in 75 districts in the 75th year of our independence. We should also set a target of double the beneficiaries of Janaushadhi centres,” Modi said.

Stating that for a long time health was considered to be the only subject of disease and treatment, he said the topic of health is not confined to just disease and treatment but affects the economic and social fabric of the country and the government has worked on the causes of disease too for a holistic approach to health.

The effort of the government has been to ensure that no one should be deprived of the benefits of medical science and treatment should be cheap, accessible for the public, he said, adding “with this thinking policies and programmes are being made today”.