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Providing access to quality healthcare at affordable rates remains a huge unaddressed challenge in India. But the government seems to have taken some steps to overcome this challenge. Speaking to the reporters after his address at the ‘Global Health Summit: Access and Affordable Healthcare for People of India’ organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Union Health Minister J P Nadda said that the government is making efforts towards providing essential medicines at a cheaper rate and quality healthcare, especially to the poor. (Read: Health Minister Nadda criticizes violation of medical ethics) Also Read - 7 reasons why the #BeefBan is good
‘A list of essential medicines is being made and the government is working towards providing such medicines at a cheaper rate,’ Nadda told reporters. He also mentioned that after seeking suggestions from general public on the Center’s draft National Health Policy, the government has ensured that the blueprint focuses on the health of rural India. ‘We have prepared a draft of the National Health Policy which we have put on our website. The minister has urged people to come forward and offer their suggestions regarding this matter. ‘The suggestions will be accepted till February 28,’ Nadda said. (Read: Health Minister to strengthen maternal & child tracking systems)
Speaking about the Policy focuses on rural areas of the country, the minister said, ‘We need to promote preventive healthcare, shift focus from sick-care and reduce the need for hospitalisation/tertiary care. On healthcare, he said, ‘healthcare is a state subject’ and the Centre is trying to understand problems of state governments on this front.
‘We are trying to make states more aware of healthcare facilities. We are very serious about malnutrition in tribal areas. We are talking to states and are trying to understand their problems. But it is up to the states to finally implement Central Government’s policies,’ he said. Nadda said providing access to quality healthcare at affordable rates remains a challenge for the government.
‘India wants access to affordable healthcare. Equity, access and affordability of quality healthcare to all, particularly to the poorest, is a challenge that government is acutely seized of. Meeting pocket expenditure on healthcare is a priority for the government,’ he said.
With inputs from PTI
Image source: Getty Images
Published : January 3, 2015 11:40 am