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Govt committed to increase India’s health spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025: Modi
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Govt committed to increase India’s health spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025: Modi

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Government is committed to increase India’s health spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025, reaching to more than 100 billion US-Dollars.

'We are committed to increasing India’s health spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025, reaching to more than 100 billion US-Dollars.

This will mean an actual increase of 345 percent over the current share, in just eight years.

We will continue to work for the betterment of people.

Women, children and youth will continue to remain at the heart of every policy, programme or initiative,' Mr Modi said in his keynote address at the inauguration of Partners’ Forum 2018, in the national capital.

In his address at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum, the Prime Minister said he firmly believes that a nation prospers when its people and importantly the women, and children are educated; and are able to live independent, empowered and healthy lives.

'I am pleased to note that India’s immunization programme, a subject close to my heart, is being featured as a success story in this forum. Under Mission Indradhanush, we reached 32.8 million children and 8.4 million pregnant women over the last three years. We have also increased the number of vaccines under the universal immunization programme from 7 to 12. Our vaccines now cover life threatening diseases like- Pneumonia and Diarrhoea,' he said.

The Prime Minister said when his government assumed office in 2014, 'we were losing more than 44,000 mothers, annually, during child-birth.'

He said the Government launched the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan to provide best possible care to mothers during pregnancy.

'We called upon the doctors to pledge one day of service per month to this campaign. Under this campaign, 16 million Ante-Natal care check-ups have been performed,' he said.

He said the country has 25 million new-borns.

'Our robust facility based new-born care system, which provides care to more than 1 million new-born babies through 794 state of the art Special New-born Care Units, has served as a successful model. As a result of our interventions, 840 additional lives of children under five are being saved each day in India as compared to four years back,' the Prime Minister said.

Mr Modi said children’s nutrition is being addressed through the POSHAN Abhiyan. This brings together various schemes and interventions working towards a common goal of mal-nutrition free India.

'In order to improve the quality of life of children, we are implementing Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram. This has provided 800 million health screening check-ups, and free referral treatment to 20 million children, in the last four years,' he said.

'One thing that constantly worried us was the high out-of-pocket expenditure incurred by families to avail medical care. We therefore launched the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Ayushman Bharat has a two-fold strategy,' the Prime Minister said.

'The first is the provision of comprehensive primary care at a facility near the community, including guidance on healthy lifestyle and Yoga through Health and Wellness Centres. The “Fit India” and “Eat Right” movements are also important part of our strategy for health and wellness. The community will also be able to receive free screening and care for common diseases including hyper-tension, diabetes and three common cancers, of breast, cervix and oral. The patients will receive free medicines and diagnostic support close to their homes. We plan to start 150 thousand such Health & Wellness Centres by 2022,' Mr Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the other arm of Ayushman Bharat is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

This provides cashless, health insurance cover up to 5 lakh rupees per family, per year, covering 500 million citizens who are most poor and vulnerable. This number is almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and the US taken together.

'We have already provided free treatment worth 700 Crore rupees to 5 lakh families under this scheme within 10 weeks of its launch,' Mr Modi said.

'Today, being Global Universal Health Coverage Day, I again state that we will continue to work towards providing universal health coverage to all.

With one million registered Social Health Activists or ASHA workers and 2.32 lakh Anganwadi Nurse Mid-wives, we have a formidable force of women frontline health workers. They are the strength of our programme,' the Prime Minister said.

'India is a huge country. Some states and districts have performed at par with developed countries. Others have their work cut out. I instructed my officials to identify 117 ‘Aspirational Districts’. Each such district has been entrusted to a team that works across sectors like education, water and sanitation, rural development with top-most priority to health and nutrition,' he said.

The Prime Minister said the Government is working on women centric schemes through other departments also.

'Till 2015, more than half of Indian women did not have access to clean fuel for cooking. We changed this with Ujjwala Yojana, which provided cleaner cooking options to 58 million women,' he said.

Talking about “Swachh Bharat Mission”, the Prime Minister said, 'We have taken up “Swachh Bharat Mission” on war footing to make India open defecation free by the year 2019. In the last four years, sanitation coverage, in rural areas, has increased from 39 percent to 95 percent.'

'We all know the saying: If you educate a man, you educate an individual; but if you educate a woman you educate an entire family. We have translated that into “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”- a progamme that focuses on the girl child, and on giving her the best quality of life and education. In addition, we have also devised a small deposit savings scheme for girls called “Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana”. With more than 12.6 million accounts opened, this scheme is helping us secure the future of the girl child.

We have also introduced Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, that is expected to benefit more than 50 million Pregnant Women and lactating mothers. This scheme enables direct benefit transfer to their bank accounts to compensate for wage loss, enable better nutrition and adequate rest before and after delivery,' he said.

The Prime Minister said the Government has also increased maternity leave to 26 weeks, from 12 weeks earlier.

'I would like to stress on the need for multi-stake-holder partnerships for achieving success. In all our endeavours, we are aware that effective healthcare, especially for women and children, is best organized through convergent action,' he said.

'It is only partnerships that will get us to our goals. Partnerships between citizens, Partnerships between communities, Partnerships between countries. The Sustainable Development agenda is a reflection of this,' the Prime Minister said.

He said countries have moved beyond stand-alone efforts. They are committed to empowering communities, improving health and education, ending poverty and spurring boosting economic growth and ultimately, leaving no one behind.

'The health of mothers will determine the health of the children and the health of children will determine the health of our tomorrow,' the Prime Minister said.

'The Partners’ Forum vision is in line with India’s ancient wisdom of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, ‘The World is one family’. It is also in line with my government’s philosophy of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”, which means, collective efforts and partnerships for inclusive growth,' Mr Modi said.

'The Partnership for Maternal, New-born, and Child Health, is a unique and effective platform. We are not only making a case for better health. We are also making an argument for faster growth.

As the world searches for new ways to ensure rapid growth, ensuring good health of women is one of the best ways of doing so. We have achieved a lot of progress in the last few years. A lot yet remains to be done. From bigger budgets to better out-comes, and from mind-set change to monitoring, there is lots to be done,' he said.

'The India story is one of hope. Hope that road-blocks can be over-come. Hope that behavioural change can be ensured. Hope that rapid progress can be achieved.

When the Millennium Development Goals were agreed on, India had one of the world’s highest mortality rates for women and children. With sustained momentum, and a faster rate of decline during the last few years, India is on course to attend the SDG targets for maternal and child health, much ahead of the agreed date of 2030,' the Prime Minister said.

He said India was one of the first countries, to advocate focused attention on adolescence and implement an extensive health promotion and prevention programme for adolescents.

'Our effort ensured that they get their due recognition in the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health adopted in 2015,' Mr Modi said.

'I am pleased to note that Latin America and Caribbean region and India will be show-casing adaptations of the global strategy during the course of this Forum. I hope that these adaptations will inspire other countries and regions to develop similar strategies,' he said.

'I have been given to understand that over the next two days this Forum will discuss 12 success stories from all over the world. This is indeed an opportunity for a dialogue between countries, to share what we can learn from each other. India stands ready to support its fellow countries in the march to achieving their development goals through skill and training programmes, provision of affordable medicines and vaccines, knowledge transfers and exchange programs,' he said.

'I would be keen to hear the outcomes of the Ministerial Conclave which has been designed to contribute to these discussions. This Forum as a vibrant platform, offers us the right moment, which should invigorate our commitment to “Survive-Thrive- Transform.”

We have our task well laid out and we continue to work with utmost dedication and devotion to provide Health for All. India shall always stand together with all the partners in solidarity,' Mr Modi said. (UNI)