The Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel; MP from this region and my senior colleague Shri CR Patil, other Ministers of the Government of Gujarat present here, the MLAs, the Founder and Chairman of Nirali Memorial Medical Trust Shri A. M. Naik ji, Trustee Shri Bhai Jignesh Naik ji, all the dignitaries present here, ladies and gentlemen! Today you have heard a speech in English first, then in Gujarati. Now Hindi should not be left out. So, let me speak in Hindi.
I am told that yesterday was Anil Bhai's birthday and when a person turns 80, that is the occasion of Sahasra Chandradarshan. Well belated birthday wishes to Anil bhai from my side. I wish him good health.
Today various schemes related to Ease of Living have been launched for the people of the entire South Gujarat from the land of Navsari. Today the brothers and sisters here have got new facilities in the field of modern infrastructure related to health as well. A short while ago, I was here at an event nearby. The 'Bhoomi Pujan' of the medical college was held and now I have got the opportunity to inaugurate the modern Healthcare Complex and Multispeciality Hospital too.
I also got the opportunity to lay the foundation stone of Cancer Hospital here 3 years ago. My heartiest congratulations to Mr. AM Naik ji, the Nirali Trust and his family! And I see this project as a sentimental tribute to Nirali, the innocent little girl we lost untimely.
This project was conceptualized with the resolution that 'no family should go through the hardships faced by A.M. Naik ji and his family. In a way, Anil Bhai has repaid the debt of his father, of his village as well as of his child. The people of all the surrounding districts including Navsari will get a lot of benefit from this modern hospital.
And I believe this is a great service to the nation as this hospital is very close to the highway. And in case of the accidents that happen on the highway, the first hour is the golden period for saving a person's life. This hospital is located at a very crucial spot. Although we don't want people to come here, we don't want accidents to happen, but if it happens then this facility is available nearby and life can be saved. I also extend my best wishes to all the doctors and the medical staff of the hospital!
It is equally important to modernize health services and to make it accessible to all for the empowerment of the poor and to make them stress-free. During the last 8 years, we have emphasized on a holistic approach to improve the health sector of the country. We have made efforts to modernize the treatment facilities, to improve nutrition and promote a healthy lifestyle. Basically we have tried to emphasize upon the behavioural aspect associated with preventive health care and these are the primary responsibilities of the government.
We are trying to ensure that the poor and the middle class can be saved from diseases and their cost of treatment is reduced. Today we are able to see the clear results of the efforts made especially for the better health of children and mothers. Today, the health infrastructure has improved in Gujarat, and the health indicators are also getting better. Gujarat has ranked first in the third edition of the Sustainable Development Goal Index of NITI Aayog.
When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the experiences of the campaigns we launched to take health services to every poor in the state are now being used to help the poor of the whole country. In that era, we had prepared a roadmap for a 'Swasth Gujarat, Ujjwal Gujarat'. The Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana, known as Maa Yojana in short, which provided free treatment facility up to Rs 2 lakh to the poor for serious illnesses, was the result of the same.
The experiences of this scheme have led to the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which ensures free treatment worth up to Rs 5 lakh to the poor. When I got the opportunity to serve as the Prime Minister, I brought this scheme to the countrymen. Under this scheme, more than 40 lakh poor patients of Gujarat have taken the facility of free treatment including a large number of women, Dalits, the poor, deprived as well as the tribal society. As a result, more than 7000 crore rupees have been saved by the poor patients. Last year under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, 7500 health and wellness centres were set up in Gujarat.
In the last 20 years, the health sector of Gujarat has hit several new milestones. In these twenty years, unprecedented work has been done for health infrastructure in Gujarat. Work has been done at every level from cities to rural areas. Thousands of health centres and first aid centres were set up in rural areas. In urban areas, about 600 Deen Dayal Aushadhalayas were also built.
Government hospitals in Gujarat today have advanced treatment facilities for diseases like cancer. The capacity of Gujarat Cancer Research Institute has increased from 450 to 1000. Besides Ahmedabad, many other cities like Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, and Vadodara also have modern cancer treatment facilities.
Kidney Institute in Ahmedabad is being modernized and expanded. And soon the number of beds will double. Today numerous dialysis centers in Gujarat are providing dialysis facilities to thousands of patients near their homes.
The Government of India is also running campaigns to develop the infrastructure for dialysis in the entire country and trying to ensure that such patients get facilities near their homes. This campaign is going on at a much faster pace as compared to before. In this way dialysis centres have become available for kidney patients today.
During our tenure in Gujarat, our government had given top priority to the health and nutrition of children and women. By ensuring Public-Private Partnership, the institutional delivery has been expanded under the Chiranjeevi Yojana and it has yielded commendable results in Gujarat.
So far 14 lakh pregnant women have taken the benefit of Chiranjeevi scheme. We are the people of Gujarat; so there are people who think of doing more and more. When I was here, we started the service of 108. But later it was suggested that the old vehicles that provided the 108 services should be removed. But I asked them not to do that. The vehicles for 108 services were meant for emergencies. So, these should be perfect and should have the power to respond quickly.
But we shouldn't remove these old vehicles immediately. We could revamp them. So, we decided to change the entire design. The sound of the siren was made musical. When the mother returned home with her child 3-4 days after the delivery in the hospital, she had to find an auto-rickshaw and face all these troubles. So, we decided to use the old 108 vehicles to drop the mothers. The sound of the sirens in old 108 vehicles were changed to a laughing child's voice so that when the mother would take that newborn baby to her house, the siren would let the whole locality know that mother had returned home from the hospital with the child. And, the entire locality could come to welcome the baby.
So with the Khilkhilahat scheme, we have also ensured that the health of the newborn is monitored at home as well. It has helped a lot in saving the lives of children and mothers, especially in bringing happiness to the homes of tribal families.
After coming to the centre, the spirit of 'Chiranjeevi' and 'Khilkhilahat' of Gujarat has been expanded across the country under 'Mission Indradhanush' and 'Matru vandana' Yojana. Last year more than 3 lakh sisters of Gujarat were covered under Pradhan Mantri Matru vandana Yojana. Crores of rupees have been deposited directly in the account of these sisters, so that they could maintain their diet right during pregnancy. Lakhs of children in Gujarat have been vaccinated under Mission Indradhanush too.
In the last few years, the facilities for education and training of doctors and paramedics have also increased a lot in Gujarat. A major institute like AIIMS is coming up in Rajkot. Today the number of medical colleges has exceeded 30. Earlier there were only 1100 MBBS seats in the state. Now they are about to reach almost 6000. Post graduate seats have also increased from about 800 to more than 2000. Similarly, the number of people qualified for other medical services like nursing and physiotherapy has also increased manifold.
For the people of Gujarat, health and service are the goals of life. We get our inspiration from great men like Pujya Bapu who made service the strength of the country. This nature of Gujarat is still very much there. Here even the most successful persons are associated with some social service-related work. As the capability of Gujarat increases, its spirit of service will also increase. We have to go further than where we have reached today.
With this determination, whether it is health, education, or infrastructure, we are constantly striving towards modernizing India. In this endeavour, an important aspect is 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas'. The more people's participation increases, the pace of the country’s capability also becomes faster and the results are also obtained faster. In fact, we get even better results.
Anil Bhai and his family have made a very significant contribution to the resolution of 'Sabka Prayas', the resolution of public-private partnership as well as to the resolution of connecting every individual of the society. I extend my best wishes to his entire family.
Thanks a lot!