“India has fast-tracked many initiatives aimed at achieving all the core tenets of Universal Health Coverage i.e, strengthening health systems, improving access to free medicines and diagnostics, and reducing catastrophic healthcare spending,” stated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health at the inauguration of the ‘71st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia,’ in Delhi, on Monday, September 3.
J P Nadda further stated that, India on its part firmly believes in the objective of attainment of the highest possible level of health, where health is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. “Moving towards this objective, we have adopted the National Health Policy 2017 with the aim to provide affordable healthcare for all,” Nadda added.
Ministers of Health from the countries of the WHO South East Asia Region (SEAR), Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region and Ms Jane Allison, DDG, WHO were also present at the inaugural session.
He further said that, Ayushman Bharat’ rests on the twin pillars of Health and Wellness Centres for the provision of comprehensive primary healthcare services and the Prime Minister’s National Health Protection Mission for secondary and tertiary care to 100 million families.
“Under the first pillar of Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana, we are reaching, out to approximately 40% of country’s population roughly covering 500 million individuals, who will be provided an insurance cover of 500 thousand Indian rupees to cover secondary and tertiary health-care. Initially spanning almost 1300 procedures under 20 different specialties, this will be the largest government funded health protection scheme in the world,” the Health Minister elaborated.
Addressing the participants, the Union Health Minister said that India has always supported regional and global public health issues whether it be advocacy, technical collaboration, research and development, partnerships or improving the accessibility and affordability of health services and high quality essential medical products. “India supports the Regional and Global health agenda and stands ready to work with fellow member states and the international community to achieve our common goal of Health for All,” he emphasized.
Also present at the event were Ambassadors and High Commissioners from the member countries, senior officers of the Ministry and representatives and delegates from across the globe.