NEW DELHI: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare chaired an event on Saturday to mark Universal Health Coverage Day. While, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare joined the event virtually from Patna.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan started by reminding the audience that COVID19 has greatly magnified the need for building resilient health care systems and ensuring their indiscriminate, equitable access to all. He continued, “We must do away with the status quo that got us here and settle for nothing less than strong health systems that protect everyone — now and in the future. It has been my long-standing belief that India has the ability to deliver to the world, a robust model for providing Universal Health Coverage.”
Lauding the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his conception and implementation of the Ayushman Bharat, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The over-arching ‘Ayushman Bharat’ program launched in 2018 has completely revolutionized primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare system in the country, with a strong focus on preventive healthcare.”
The Minister noted that through the two wings of Ayushman Bharat, the Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY), the government has been making quality healthcare affordable and accessible for crores of people in the country. He stated, “We have made remarkable progress in operationalizing Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centers and crossed a major landmark in our journey.
With 51,500 centers now functional, more than 1/3 of the target has been met. This has led to improved access to affordable primary healthcare services for more than 25 crore people. It is our aim to establish 1.5 lakh such centers by December 2022. This also includes 12,500 AYUSH Health and Wellness Centers being set up by Ministry of AYUSH.”