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India has emerged as the nerve centre of global health: PM Modi
The last day of 2020 is dedicated to all health workers who are putting their lives at stake to keep us safe: PM Modi
In the recent years, more people have got access to health care facilities: PM Modi

Namaskar!

How are you? Is there winter chill in Gujarat or not? Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvratji, Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupaniji, Assembly Speaker Shri Rajendra Trivedi, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhanji, Deputy CM Bhai Nitin Patel ji, my colleagues in the Cabinet, ShriAshwiniChoubeyji, Mansukh Bhai Mandaviyaji andParshottamRupalaji, ministers in the Gujarat government Shri BhupendrasinghChudasmaji and Shri Kishore Kananiji, all other ministers, MPs and all other dignitaries.

Brothers and sisters,

The New Year is knocking on the doors. Today, another link is being added to strengthen the medical infrastructure of the country. The laying of the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rajkot will provide an impetus to the network of health and medical education to Gujarat as well as across the country. Brothers and sisters, bidding farewell to the year 2020 with a new national health facility also reflects this year's challenges and also defines the New Year's priorities. This has been a year of unprecedented challenges for health in the whole world. This year has shown why our ancestors repeatedly dwelt on this value that health is wealth. 2020 has taught us very clearly. When the health takes a hit, then every aspect of life is badly affected and it is not just the family, the entire social circle is impacted. Therefore, on the last day of the year, we have to remember millions of doctors, health warriors, health workers,chemists and other frontline Corona warriors in India, who are constantly putting their lives at stake to protect humanity. Today I respectfully salute all those who have sacrificed their lives on the path of duty. Today, the country is remembering those colleagues, the scientists, the employees who are working day and night to create the medical infrastructure needed to fight Corona. Today is also the day to appreciate all the colleagues who worked with dedication in providing food and other facilities to the poor in this difficult period. In spite of such a long period, such a huge calamity, it is the result of the collective strength, service and sensitivity of the society, that the countrymen did not let any poor sleep hungry at night in these difficult days. All of them deserve bows and respect.

Friends,

This difficult year has shown how effectively India can face a difficult crisis when it is united. It is because of the manner in which India has taken timely effective steps with solidarity that we are in a much better position today. In a densely populated country where there are more than 130 crore people, about one crore people have successfully fought against the disease. India's record of saving corona-afflicted colleagues has been much better than the world. Now, even in the case of infection, the number in India is going down constantly.

Brothers and sisters,

In the year 2020, there were worries and concerns regarding infection, there were question marks around and they became the identity of 2020, but 2021 is coming with the hope of treatment. All necessary preparations are going on in India regarding the vaccine. Efforts are in the final stages to make the Indian vaccine reach every essential class rapidly. India's preparedness to launch the world's largest vaccination campaign is in full swing. I am confident that just as we have made united efforts to prevent infection in the year, the whole of India will move with the same spirit to make the vaccination a success.

Friends,

Commendable work has been done in Gujarat also regarding prevention of the infection and now preparations for vaccination. The kind of medical infrastructure that has been developed in the last two decades is one of the major reasons why Gujarat is able to deal with the Corona challenge in a better way. AIIMS Rajkot will further strengthen the health network of Gujarat. Now, modern facilities will be available at Rajkot for serious diseases. Apart from treatment and education, it will also create many employment opportunities. About 5,000 direct jobs will be available in the new hospital. At the same time, many indirect employment related to food, transport and other medical facilities will also be here and we have seen that a small town is settled outside where there is a big hospital.

Brothers and sisters,

The success behind the medical sector in Gujarat is due to the effort, dedication and resolve of the last two decades. Gujarat is definitely benefiting because of the scale of work which has happened on treatment and medical education in the last six years in the entire country.

Friends,

You are also well aware of the condition of the big hospitals and the pressure on them. Such was the situation that even after so many decades of independence, only 6 AIIMS were set up in the country. In 2003, Atal ji's government took steps to build six more AIIMS. It took nine years to complete them by 2012. In the past six years, the work on 10 new AIIMS has started, many of which have started functioning fully.Besides AIIMS, 20 super specialty hospitals like AIIMS are also being built in the country.

Friends,

Before 2014, our health sector was working in different directions with different approaches. Primary healthcare had its own system. The facilities in the villages were almost nil. We started working in the health sectorin a holistic manner. While we emphasised on preventive care on the one hand, we also gave priority to modern treatment facilities. While we reduced the expenditure on treatment of the poor, it was also emphasized that there is an exponential increase in the number of doctors.

Friends,

Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, work is progressing at a fast pace to build about 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres in remote areas across the country. So far, 50,000centres have already started serving and about 5,000 of them are in Gujarat alone. About 1.5 crore poor in the country have so far availed free treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh under the scheme. How this scheme has provided great help to the poor brothers and sisters, I would like to quote a figure.

Friends,

Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the poor have saved about 30,000 crore rupees. 30,000 crores of rupees is a huge amount. You imaginehow much this scheme has emancipated the poor from the great economic concern. The poor of my country have got free treatment of cancer, heart problems, kidney problems and many serious ailments and that too in good hospitals.

Friends,

In the event of the disease, there is another savior of the poor --Jan Aushadhi Kendra. About 7,000 Jan Aushadhicentres in the country are providing medicines to the poor at a very low price. Medicines at these Jan Aushadhicentres are cheaper by about 90%. That means, a medicine costing 100 rupees is available in ten rupees. More than 3.5 lakh poor patients are availing these Jan Aushadhicentres every day and due to cheap medicines at these centres, the poor are saving spending of Rs. 3600 crores approximately every year. You can imagine how big the help is. Some people may question why the government is insisting on reducing the cost of treatment and medicines?

Friends,

Most of us are from the same background. The cost of treatment has always been a great concern for the poor and middle class. When a poor is afflicted with a serious illness, it is very likely that he will not go for his treatment. Lack of money for treatment, other household expenses andconcerns about his responsibilities change the behavior of the individual. And we have seen that when the poor falls sick and he has no money, what does he do? He goes into the talismanic world and idol worshipping. He believes that he would perhaps be saved from there, but he goes there because he does not have money to go to the right place, poverty is disturbing him.

Friends,

We have also seen that the behaviour that changes due to lack of money turns into confidence when the poor have a protective shield. The treatment of the poor under the Ayushman Bharat scheme has been successful in changing this concern and behaviour of the people. Due to paucity of money, they would not go to hospital for their treatment. Sometimes, I have seen that the elderly or even those aged 45-50 would not go to hospital for treatment thinking that it will entail debt and their children will have to repay it and their lives would be ruined. Many parents suffer from pain throughout their life and die in pain so that their children’s lives are not ruined. They do not go for treatment because they don’t want debt and are prepared to suffer in pain so that their children do not have to inherit debt. It is also equally true that the poor could never imagine visitingprivate hospitals earlier. It is now changing after Ayushman Bharat.

Friends,

The feeling of safety of one’s health and the lack of concern for money for treatment has changed the mindset of the society and we are also seeing its consequences. Today, there is an alertness and seriousness towards health and wellness. It is not like that it is happening only in cities. We are seeing this awareness in the villages of our country also. Such instances of behaviour change are also visible in other areas. The availability of toilets has made people more aware about cleanliness. HarGhar Jal mission is ensuring clean water to the people and reducing water-related diseases. Cooking gas is not only improving the health of our sisters and daughters, but there has been a positive mindset in the entire family.Similarly, thePradhan MantriSurakshitMatritvaAbhiyanhas encouraged pregnant women to have regular check-ups. Since they are informed about any seriousness during check-up, its benefit is that any complicated cases during pregnancy are known beforehand and are also treated on time. The Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana is ensuring that pregnant women get adequate nutrition and care. The POSHAN campaign has also raised awareness among them. A major advantage of all these efforts is that the mother mortality rate in the country is going down considerably as compared to earlier.

Friends,

It is not enough to focus only on outcome. Impact is important, but implementation is equally important and, therefore, I believe that we need to improve the process first in order to ensure a comprehensive change in behavior. Over the years, the country has given a lot of emphasis on it. As a result, we are seeing that there is a changein the country’s health sector at the grassroots level, and the biggest thing that people have got is ACCESS, their access to health facilities. And today I would also urge the health and education experts to study the impact of these schemes on the education of the daughters. These schemes and awareness are one of the major reasons which are reducing the dropout rate of daughters in schools.

Friends,

Work on mission mode is also progressing to promote medical education in the country. Reforms were undertaken in institutions related to medical education management. Necessary reforms were also undertaken in traditional Indian medicine education. After the formation of the National Medical Commission, the quality in health education will also improve and the quantity will also grow. Steps like the National Exit Test for graduates, along with a 2-year Post MBBS Diploma, or a District Residency scheme for post graduate doctors, are being worked out both at the requirement and quality levels.

Friends,

The goal is to make available AIIMS to every state and there must be a medical college between every threeLok Sabha constituencies. As a result of these efforts, 31,000 new seats in MBBS and 24,000 new seats in post graduate have been increasedin the last six years. Friends, India is moving towards a major change at the grassroots level in the health sector. If 2020 was a year of health challenges, 2021 is going to be a year of health solutions. In 2021, the world will be more conscious of health and move towards solutions. The world has seen the way India has also contributed to tackling health challenges in 2020. I have also mentioned it at the outset.

Friends,

India's contribution is going to be crucial for scaling up health solutions in 2021. India is going to play the most important role in both the future of health and the health of the future. Competent medical professionals and their service will be available to the world here. Here, the world will also get the experience of mass immunization and expertise. The world will also find startups and startup ecosystems integrating health solutions and technology. These startups are also making healthcare accessible and also improving health outcomes.

Friends,

Today, we are all witnessing how diseases are getting globalised now. Therefore, it is time that health solutions are also globalised, the world should come together to make efforts and respond. Today, isolated efforts, working in silos, is not going to work. The way is to take everyone along, think for everyone and India today is a global player which has proved it. India has proved its ability to 'Adapt, Evolve and Expand' according to the demand. We moved forward with the world, provided value addition in collective efforts, and we just put humanity at the center, serving humanity, cutting across everything. Today, India also has the capacity, and a sense of service. That is why India is emerging as a nerve centre of global health. We have to further strengthen India's role in 2021.

Friends,

It is said here: 'सर्वम् अन्य परित्यज्य शरीरम् पालयेदतः'॥That is, the biggest priority is to protect the health of the body. One should worry first about health except everything. In the New Year, we have to absorb this mantra in our lives as a priority. If we stay healthy, the country will be healthy, and we also know about the Fit India movement. It is not that it is just for the youth, people of all ages should join the Fit India movement and this season is also very good to give an impetus to the Fit India movement. Whether it is yoga or it is Fit India, we have to keep ourselves healthy. The difficulties that arise after falling sick and hence one does not have to make as much effort to keep healthy. And, therefore, we should also remember about Fit India. It is also our duty to keep self and the country fit.My dear brothers and sisters from Rajkot and Gujarat; do not forget that corona infection is declining, but it is a virus that quickly engulfs again. Therefore, there should not be any relaxation in the distance of two yards, masks and sanitation. May the New Year bring a lot of happiness for all of us!May the New Year be prosperous for the country! But I would also say, as I used to say earlier again and again, unless there is medicine, there is no laxity.Medicine is almost there. It is just a matter of time. Earlier I would say unless there is medicine, there is no laxity, but I am saying now that one has to be strict and take medicines. Don’t live in the illusion that once medicine is there, there will be exemptions. This is what the world and the scientists say and, therefore, our mantra in 2021 will be both medicine and strictness.

Secondly, rumours are generally rife in our country. Different people spread different rumours in an irresponsible manner for their personal selfish interests. Maybe, the rumours will be rife when we start the vaccination drive. Countless imaginary lies will be spread regardless of how much normal human harm is being caused to put someone in bad light. It has already started and some poor gullible people or who work with some bad intentions spread it with great conviction. I would urge the countrymen that we are up against an unknown enemy in our fight against Corona. Don’t let the rumours run amok and do not forward anything which we find on social media. We all have to contribute to the country as a responsible citizen toward the health campaign which will be launched soon. We all have to take the responsibility to see how we can help in delivering the news to those who need it first. As there is progress on the issue of vaccines, the countrymen will get timely information. I once again wish you all the best for 2021.

Thanks!

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Social Media Corner 18th May 2021
May 18, 2021
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