Spelling a major boost to the country’s public healthcare system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated five major healthcare projects at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospitals here. After unveiling the Rs 17,00 crore much-needed projects, the PM also checked on the health of ailing former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee currently admitted in ICU at the cardiothoracic center of AIIMS here.
Addressing the gathering at the launch ceremony, PM Modi dedicated the projects to the poor and middle class saying in the past five years the public healthcare has witnessed a big leap and progressed in a new direction. Modi credited the BJP-led government at the Centre for the rise in the number of institutional deliveries and noted that regular free health checkups of expectant mothers (under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan) and addition of new vaccines in the national immunisation programme (Mission Indradhanush) have led to an unprecedented drop in maternal and infant mortality. These efforts have also been appreciated by international agencies, said the PM.
Pregnant ladies can avail free health check-up and treatment on ninth of every month in all government hospitals across the country under the scheme launched in 2016.PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the long-proposed National Centre for Ageing at AIIMS, a 200-bed super-specialty facility for the elderly targeted to be ready by February 2020. Commissioned at a cost of Rs 330 crore, the proposed geriatric center will have 20 ICU beds and provide training and research facility in the field of geriatric medicine. Enhancing Safdarjung hospital’s capacities, the PM formally inaugurated an 807-bed super specialty and an emergency block having 500 beds making Safdarjung Hospital the country’s biggest emergency care hospital. The new emergency block has been developed at a cost of Rs 346 crore while Rs 920 crore went into the setting up of the super specialty at Safdarjung Hospital where the latter is offering high-end diagnostic healthcare and treatment facilities in major disciplines and has 228 bedded private ward.
The opening of a 300-bed Power Grid Vishram Sadan (night shelter facility) in AIIMS will go as another major relief especially to outstation patients and relatives, besides a “connecting motorable tunnel” covering approx one km between AIIMS, Ansari Nagar and the hospital’s Jai Prakash Narayan Trauma Centre will further ease the delivery of healthcare in the capital. The night shelter is the 11-floor facility built at a cost of Rs 32.67 crore and funded by Power Grid Corporation while Rs 44 crore was spent on the connecting tunnel, as per the government. Further, talking about the National Health Policy, Modi underlined that affordable healthcare and prevention of diseases are high on the government’s agenda.
Diseases are a big reason behind poverty and during the last four years his government is both working towards strengthening the existing healthcare facilities available around big cities as well as ensuring such health setups are extended to tier II, III cities and far-flung areas of the country, Modi added. India has set a target to eliminate TB by 2025, well before the global target of 2030, Modi said. the government has upgraded the medical hospitals to colleges, the PM added while taking potshots at the past governments over the number of such projects delivered.