PM Modi Promises High Quality Medical care for Poor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), citing his government's commitment to achieve high quality healthcare benefits for the poor and middle class.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took part in the event online and created a stir with her comments that she had already inaugurated the complex during the second COVID-19 wave, when the state needed more and more centres for patient growth. Banerjee, a strong critic of Modi, said she was present at the event after being invited twice by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia, and noted that her government had been following all the guidelines issued by the Centre despite differences over its decisions and the 'question raised by the Governor.

Dedicating the 400 bedded 3rd level cancer care centre built at a cost of Rs 534 crore to the nation, Modi told the gathering that India has reached the "historic milestone" of providing 150 crore crore vaccines during the day. Today, 90 per cent of India's adult population has already received the first dose of covid vaccine. It reflects the country's confidence, self-reliance and sense of self-pride which is difficult even for developed and wealthy nations,' he asserted.

Praising the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the Prime Minister said that it has become a global standard for the public health care system and so far over 2.60 crore people including 17 lakh cancer patients have benefited from it. This is another step towards our national resolve to achieve high quality healthcare for all our citizens, especially the poor and middle class,' he said of the new CNCI campus, which will serve West Bengal, its eastern neighbours and remote northeastern states.

He said there was a time when a poor person either did not think of treating cancer or sold his house and land to meet the cost. The poor and middle class were nervous about the whole thought of getting cancer and lost their hearts. We have taken concrete steps to get the anxiety out of the anxiety of the people with the same. PM Modi said 50,000 medicinal centres are distributing medicines including 50 cancer drugs at subsidised prices across the country. Amrit pharmacies are also selling expensive cancer drugs at affordable prices.

The Prime Minister also said that by controlling the prices of 500 medicines, the government has ensured that patients, especially the poor, save Rs 3,000 crore. PM said, controlling the prices of major drugs and implants helps the common man save a huge amount of money, he said, noting that the reduction in the price of coronary stent alone has saved Rs 4,500 crore for heart patients. Under the Prime Minister's National Dialysis Programme, 12 lakh people get free treatment and save over Rs 520 crore. If we consider the benefits that patients have received from this and other programmes under Ayushman Bharat, the common man saved between Rs 50,000 crore and Rs 60,000 crore,' he said.

Responding to Mamata Banerjee's suggestion to increase seats in medical colleges, Modi said there were 90,000 graduate and post graduate seats in the country before taking over as prime minister in 2014. He said 60,000 seats have been added to medical colleges in the last seven years. We had only six AIIMS in 2014 and today there is a strong network of 22 AIIMS across the country,' he asserted.

He said efforts are on to set up one medical college in each district, 19 state cancer institutes and 20 tertiary cancer centres. Health and Wellness Centres have been set up in villages while promoting preventive healthcare through yoga, Ayurveda, universal sanitation and nalpani scheme to be reached in every household.Har Ghar Jal Yojana will eliminate dangers like arsenic poisoning which can lead to cancer,' he said.

Mamata Banerjee in her speech said that the state government has spent 25 per cent of the cost of setting up chittaranjan national cancer institute, and will also bear a recurring cost of Rs 71 crore. He said the West Bengal government had provided 11 acres of land for the institute. There is no answer to cancer but we should not stop trying,' he said and added that his government has launched a 'Swasthya Saathi Scheme' covering all citizens of West Bengal under which people can get treatment up to Rs 5 lakh.In his speech, the Prime Minister said that the Centre has made 11crore vaccines available free of cost to West Bengal, as well as 1,500 ventilators and 9,000 oxygen cylinders.

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