New Delhi: Asserting the once in a lifetime Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of the health sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the future will belong to societies that invest in healthcare.
Prime Minister Modi, who inaugurated 11 new government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu through video conference, said the Government of India has brought many reforms in the health sector.
“Thanks to Ayushman Bharat, the poor have access to top quality and affordable healthcare. The cost of knee implants and stents have become one third of what it was,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi said he envisions India as being the go-to destination for quality and affordable care in the coming years.
“India has everything needed to be a hub for medical tourism. I say this based on the skills of our doctors. I urge the medical fraternity to look at telemedicine as well,” he added.
Stating the country had around 82,000 medical under graduate and post graduate seats in 2014, Prime Minister Modi said this number has gone up in the last seven years to around 1,48,000 seats with an increase of about 80%.
“In 2014, our country had 387 medical colleges. In last seven years only, this number has gone up to 596 medical colleges. This is an increase of 54%,” Prime Minister Modi said.
“In 2014, there were only seven AIIMS in the country. But after 2014, the number of AIIMS approved has increased to 22. At the same time, various reforms have been undertaken to make the medical education sector more transparent,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi said that he has always been fascinated by the richness of the Tamil language and culture.
“One of the happiest moments of my life was when I got a chance to speak a few words in the world’s oldest language, Tamil, at the United Nations,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi said that his government also had the honour of setting up ‘Subramania Bharati Chair’ on Tamil Studies at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
“Located in my Parliamentary constituency, this will drive greater curiosity about Tamil,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi said ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ seeks to enhance the “spirit of unity in diversity and bring our people closer”.
“When a young child in Haridwar sees a Thiruvalluvar statue and finds out about his greatness, a seed of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ is laid in a young mind,” he added.
The new medical colleges have come up at Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Tiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri districts in Tamil Nadu.
The new colleges would have a cumulative capacity of 1,450 medical seats and have been set up under the centrally-sponsored scheme of establishing new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital, PTI reported.
The Central government had earlier said establishment of these medical colleges was in line with the Prime Minister’s constant endeavour to promote affordable medical education and improve health infrastructure in all parts of the country.