We've Taken Historic Steps to Increase Affordable Healthcare Access to Far-flung Areas, Says PM Modi
World. (File Image)

New York [USA], Sep 24 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (local time) told the United Nations during the first-ever high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage that India has taken "many historic steps" to increase affordable healthcare access to far-flung areas in the country."World welfare begins with public welfare and health is its important unit. And so this subject is a very big priority for India," Modi told the world leaders gathered at the summit.This summit was held under the theme "Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World," which aims to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).The meeting aims at mobilising the global community to secure a political commitment from Heads of State and Government to accelerate progress toward achieving universal health coverage by 2030.Nearly 160 UN member states participated in the meeting.The Prime Minister highlighted four pillars of healthcare which are currently being focused on in his country, including preventive healthcare, affordable healthcare, improving the supply side, and the mission mode intervention.He underlined that an important part of his government's preventive healthcare is Yoga, Ayurveda and fitness. More than 1.25 lakh wellness centres are being built across the country to control lifestyle disease like diabetes, blood pressure, depression etc. "The increasing craze of e-cigarette is a matter of great concern. India has banned e-cigarette to save the younger generation from this serious crisis," Modi told at the session.The Prime Minister also put special emphasis on the government's 'Clean Indian Mission' and immunisation through new vaccines that have contributed to saving millions of lives.With a view of strengthening the second pillar of healthcare, Modi said that his government has implemented the world's largest health assurance scheme Ayushman Bharat under which nearly 500 million poor people are being provided free treatment up to 5 lakhs rupees per year.Interestingly, Modi's address at the high-level meeting coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), which was launched by the Prime Minister on the very same day last year.In order to improve the third pillar, the Government of India has made radical reforms to improve the quality of medical education and medical infrastructure across the country.In his concluding remarks, the Prime Minister further noted that India set the goal of eradicating Tuberculosis by 2025, noting that the dateline is five years ahead of that set by the United Nations under its sustainable development goals.The Prime Minister, in addition, also said that India's efforts on affordable healthcare are not limited to just its own boundaries."We have helped to provide access to affordable healthcare through telemedicine to many countries, especially the African countries and we will continue to do the same in the future too," he said."Health is not just about getting rid of diseases, healthy life is also the right of everyone. It is our government's responsibility to make every effort for this," he added at the summit.Modi concluded his address with a Sanskrit proverb 'Sarve Bhvantu Sukhin, Sarv Santu Nirmaya' that translates into "wishing happiness to all and all should remain disease-free". (ANI)

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