The ancient Roman poet Virgil once wrote, “The greatest wealth is health.” For a society to prosper, it is essential that its citizens have access to quality healthcare irrespective of one’s status or position in society. There can be no bigger disservice to society than to ignore the health of its people. It is a matter of immense joy that in the last eleven years, the Gujarat Government has taken a series of steps to create a healthier Gujarat and a Gujarat where even the poorest of the poor are taken care of.
Mention must be made of the farsighted and compassionate leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, who has left no stone unturned to strengthen the healthcare apparatus of the state. A notable aspect of Shri Modi’s vision towards achieving a healthier Gujarat is the emphasis he has given to healthcare schemes for the poor. He has time and again assured the poor of Gujarat that even in their worst illness, the Gujarat Government is with them. Shri Modi also rightly pointed out that when the rich fall ill, there are lines of doctors outside their house but when a poor person falls ill the case is very different. Thus, it is the commitment of the state Government to provide top quality healthcare to the poor and give them the opportunity to contribute to the development journey of Gujarat.
The Gujarat Government has ushered a paradigm shift in the healthcare sector by conceiving of new initiatives backed by quick and efficient execution. This way, not only has the fight against illness received new strength but also several diseases have been wiped off the face of Gujarat. Here, we share some of the novel initiatives of the Gujarat Government in the healthcare sector.
Mukhyamantri Amrutam Yojana (MA Yojana)- Saving lives, bringing smiles
To effectively address the problems faced by Below Poverty Line (BPL) families of Gujarat, the Government launched the Mukhyamantri Amrutam Yojana, also called the MA Yojana. The scheme covers al the districts of Gujarat. Under the scheme, all the Government would meet the hospitalization and surgical procedures up to Rs. 2 lakh. In addition the scheme also includes a provision for transport allowance.
The State’s Health Department will select private hospitals that will provide the relevant services and tie-ups with 47 hospitals have already been put in place as more tie-ups are also being explored. In a time when the rest of the nation is struggling to effectively embrace the PPP model, it is commendable to see how Gujarat has embraced the PPP model in various sectors to bring about a positive difference in the lives of the people.
Being a firm believer in latest technology himself, its amazing to see how Shri Narendra Modi has incorporated the usage of technology in virtually every sphere if Governance. In case of the MA Yojana, every BPL family will have a Bar Coded Plastic Card that will be the sole basis of availing a variety of healthcare services. Even illnesses existing before the scheme came into being will be included.
108 Ambulance Services- speedy healthcare, at your doorstep
Poor health is not something that announces it arrival well in advance. A health disorder can occur anytime and when that happens it is important to provide timely medical treatment and ensure that the best possible medical help is extended. Earlier, calling an ambulance used to be a great ordeal. Many times the call was not answered, if the call was answered the bus was not in proper shape, if the bus was ready then there was no driver- the list of excuses went on as the common people suffered.
These kinds of ordeals became history under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Gujarat launched the 108 Ambulance Service where all one needs to do during time of poor health is dial ‘108’ and the ambulance will come at your doorstep!
Gujarat has been a leader in the 108 Ambulance service. There are thousands of people who write to Shri Modi on the success of the 108 services and how it has saved lives of their near and dear ones. Shri Modi shared that the service has been a hit in the Tribal dominated areas of Gujarat. Gone are the days when snakebite was all it took to take away the precious lives of our hardworking tribal brothers and sisters. Infact, the 108 service from Gujarat has been helping several patients from the border areas of neighboring Maharashtra as well!
Additionally, there have been over 32,000 deliveries due to the 108 service and both the mother and the child have been saved.
Summing up the true essence of the 108 Ambulance service Shri Modi said, “When one dials 108 he or she is not asked if they are Hindu or Muslim, rich or poor, urban or rural, upper caste or not!” This is an initiative for each and every person of the state.
One of the most unfortunate realities of India today is the number of women dying during childbirth. Due to poor access of adequate healthcare facilities, Gujarat too faced the adverse problem of unfavourable Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the past.
When Shri Narendra Modi assumed office, he was determined to change this. With a determination to bring about change, the Chiranjeevi Yojana was born in 2005-2006. The Yojana was launched using the Public Private Partnership model to involve the private obstetricians to reduce both IMR and MMR.
Today maternity services are provided to BPL women by private gynecologists. A notable aspect of the scheme is that this is a cashless scheme where the beneficiary does not have to pay at all! By early 2012 there were over 680,000 deliveries done through 700 private specialists. Furthermore, this scheme has been linked with the 108 Ambulance service, which has made transportation to a centre of medical assistance much easier.
The Chiranjeevi Yojana has become a point of emulation by other states where the IMR and MMR rates are adverse. Independent agencies and Government bodies- IIM Ahmedabad, UNPFA and the Government of India have evaluated the scheme and lauded the scheme as well. Chiranjeevi Yojana has won several awards including the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration and the Asian Innovation Award by the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Wall Street Journal.
E-Mamata: Another instance of technology saving lives!
When it comes to innovation in governance with the application of technology, there are few parallels for Gujarat. In order to improve IMR and MMR the state Government launched another initiative known as E-Mamata. Commencing in 2010, E-Mamata is a name-based mother and child tracking information management system and it aims at registering individual pregnant women, individual children and adolescents with complete details to ensure delivery of various services such as Ante Natal Care (ANC), Childbirth, Post Natal Care (PNC).
Gujarat’s determined fight to curb fake medicines lauded by WHO
In the name of curing illness, there are instances of fake medicines entering the market. This is nothing but playing with the lives of innocent people and needs to be curbed as effectively as possible.
This is precisely what Gujarat has done. In fact, an organisation no less than the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed keenness in Gujarat’s system of tracking spurious medicines through SMS alerts. The state’s Food and Drug Control Administration developed as SMS alert system where stakeholders can be notified about recalled fake drugs. The system has already issued 60 alerts for drugs of inferior quality.
Polio Free Gujarat
Due to the proactive approach of the state Government, Gujarat has not witnessed a single case of polio since the last six years. Leading from the front, every year Shri Modi participates in the polio immunization drive and urges people to come shoulder to shoulder and eradicate this menace from the nation. This year, there were over 30,000 booths and over 1.25 lakh officials worked towards making the Drive a success.
In September 2012 Shri Modi launched two other initiatives apart from the MA Yojana. They are the Gujarat Medical Services Corporation and the ‘Khilkhilat’ Yojana that celebrates the homecoming of the mother and the child after the delivery.
These are some of the way through which the pro-active Gujarat Government, blessed with the dynamism of Shri Narendra Modi is scaling new heights of progress and ensuring a healthier Gujarat for the years to come!
For more updates on the State Government’s health care initiatives- https://www.narendramodi.in/tag/health/