Modi Government's eight years of building Sashakt Bharat

Modi Government's eight years of building Sashakt Bharat

Invoking the words of Swami Vivekananda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, during his first Independence Day address, spoke to the nation, “I can see before my eyes Mother India awakening once again. My Mother India would be seated as the World Guru. Every Indian would render service towards welfare of humanity. This legacy of India would be useful for the welfare of the world.” Eight years later, as the world looks towards India for lessons to overcome an unprecedented global crisis, Swami Vivekanand’s vision of India is becoming a reality, guided by the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi ji. The unlocking of India’s potential that well and truly began on May 26, 2014 has been built on two pillars, an empowered citizenry and an accountable government.

From the outset, the government recognized that the dream of New India, a ‘Sashakt’ and ‘Samarth’ Bharat, cannot be achieved until every citizen is empowered and is able to contribute to the mission of nation building. For long, India’s healthcare sector suffered from three key problems, low affordability, poor access and high variation in quality of care. In the last 8 years, the government has relentlessly worked towards addressing these three problems in order to ensure affordable, safe and efficient access to quality care to India’s citizens, particularly the most vulnerable.

In the last eight years, the National Health Mission has successfully served as a foundation for tackling challenges pertaining to the health system of the country. To develop an adequate, skilled and robust health care workforce, many states/ UTs have introduced various praiseworthy interventions such as monetary and non-monetary incentives for rural postings, on-job training and other regulatory measures.

In the last seven years, a total addition of 209 medical colleges has been recorded, leading to a 54 percent increase in the establishment of medical colleges with a percent increase in the number of Government Medical Colleges (GMC) alone and a 37 percent increase in the private sector, since 2014. In addition, a total of 157 new medical colleges have been approved and 71 medical colleges have become functional. As a result, there has been a 75 percent increase undergraduate seats in medical courses, from 51,348 in 2014 to 89,875 in 2021, and 93 percent increase in post-graduate seats, from 31,185 in 2014 to 60,202 in 2021.

The government launched the ambitious centrally-sponsored Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana in 2018. Under PMJAY, all eligible beneficiaries can avail cashless and paperless secondary and tertiary treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh per family every year. Over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, close to 50 crore people, are covered under the scheme, constituting 40 percent of India’s population. PMJAY has shown remarkable progress over the last few years, with over 18.16 crore beneficiaries identified and 3.31 crore hospital admissions approved so far. With a network of 27,891 hospitals, including 12572 private hospitals.

In order to improve access to preventive care, the government has focused on Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres. We are well on way to achieve the target of establishing 1.5 lakh HWCs by 2022, with 1,18,355 AB-HWCs already functional.

Government has launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (PM-ABDM). ABDM, with a financial outlay of 1600 crores. So far, 21.9 Cr ABHA numbers (digital health IDs) have been created, and 11.6 thousand Healthcare professionals, 55.3 thousand Health facilities (including hospitals, labs, and pharmacies, clinics from government or private sector) have been registered.

In the last eight years, to increase maternal health by ensuing continuum of care, the government has introduced a number of policies including Janani Surakhsa Yojana (JSY) and Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan. The scheme encompasses services such as free nutrition support, drugs, diagnostics and ambulance facilities to expectant women and special free antenatal care to pregnant women to detect and prevent high-risk pregnancies. To improve institutional delivery, the number of delivery points have been increased to 25,000 Delivery points in 2021-22 from 17,000 delivery points in 2013-2014.

The impact of these initiatives have been visible and led to significant improvement in key health indicators. India’s infant mortality rate reduced to 30 per 1,000 live births in 2019 from 39 per 1,000 live births in 2014, neonatal mortality reduced to 22 in 2019 from 26 in 2014, Under-5 Mortality Rate reduced from 45 per 1000 live births in 2014 to 35 per 1000 live births in 2019, and institutional deliveries increased from 78.9% in NFHS-4 to 88.6% in NFHS-5 with 23 States/UTs achieving more than 90% of institutional births. Similarly, full Immunization Coverage (FIC) has increased from 62.0% in NFHS-4 (2015-16) to 76.4% in NFHS-5 (2019-21).

Article by- Dr Bharati Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

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