The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission is one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. It is in addition to the National Health Mission.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure, from his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The Prime Minister also inaugurated various development projects worth more than Rs 5,200 crore for his constituency.
The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission is one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. It is in addition to the National Health Mission. Its objective is to fill gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas. It will provide support for 17,788 rural health and wellness centers in 10 high focus states. Further, 11,024 urban health and wellness centers will be established in all the states.
Through this, critical care services will be available in all the districts of the country with more than five lakh populations through exclusive critical care hospital blocks, while the remaining districts will be covered through referral services. People will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country, and integrated public health labs will be set up in all the districts.
Under the scheme, a national institution for one health, four new national institutes for virology, a regional research platform for WHO southeast Asia Region, nine biosafety level-III laboratories, five new regional national centers for disease control will be set up.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi lashed out at the previous government in Uttar Pradesh for ignoring the basic medical needs of the people of the Purvanchal region while "filling coffers" of their families and asserted that the region will now emerge as a medical hub under BJP rule. Inaugurating nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh virtually from Siddharthnagar, the Prime Minister said the BJP's priority is to provide basic facilities to the poor.
'Cycle' of corruption thrived in UP
In an apparent attack at the Samajwadi Party government which ruled the state before the BJP came to power in 2017, Modi said, "Their cycle of corruption ran 24 hours. They had the priority of earning for themselves and filling the coffers of their families while for us the priority is to extend basic facilities to the poor.”
Earlier there was corruption in medicines, ambulance, appointments, transfer, and posting and this entire game some 'parivarwadis' (dynasts) in Uttar Pradesh flourished, he said. "The cycle of corruption ran 24 hours but the common families of Purvanchal and Uttar Pradesh got crushed,” he added. The Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh refers to the eastern part of the state.
The PM said before Independence and also later no importance was given to basic health facilities and people from towns and villages had to rush to cities to avail medical facilities and noted that dimagi Bukhara" (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) use to grip the region every year but there was lack of adequate medical facilities in the area.
Seven years ago, the government in Delhi and the one four years ago in Uttar Pradesh did not pay attention to the poor and announced small dispensaries which could never see the light of the day but now efforts are being made to improve the health sector due to strong political will power and priority accorded by his government, Modi said.
Earlier, there was no strategy at the national level to deal with the problem of shortage of doctors, and rules and institutions formed to look after medical education and medical colleges were running as per the old system and also proving to be a hindrance in setting up new medical colleges, he said. However, in the past seven years such old arrangements are being changed which were proving to be a hindrance in medical education, he said, adding this can be seen in the increase in the number of medical seats.
While there were around 90,000 medical seats in different colleges across the country before 2014, 60,000 new ones have been added to it in the past seven years, Modi added. Built for Rs 2,329 crore, the medical colleges inaugurated on Monday are located in Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur, and Jaunpur districts. While eight medical colleges have been sanctioned under a Centrally sponsored scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges attached with district or referral hospitals, the one at Jaunpur has been made functional by the state government through its resources.
The new medical colleges have been named after noted personalities of the region and in some cases prominent politicians. The Siddarthnagar medical college has been named after Madhav Prasad Tripathi, a Jansangh leader who served as the first BJP president of the state after its formation in 1980.
In Deoria, the medical college has been named after Maharshi Devraha Baba (a noted saint), Ghazipur medical college after Maharshi Vishwamitra, Mirzapur medical college after Maa Vindhyavasini, a manifestation of Goddess Durga, Pratapgarh medical college after Dr. Sonelal Patel (founder of BJP ally Apna Dal), Etah medical college after Virangna Avanti Bai Lodhi and Fatehpur college after Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyav Singh.
Under the Central scheme, preference is given to backward and aspirational districts. The scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges and effectively utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals. Under three phases of the scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the nation, out of which 63 medical colleges are already functional.