Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)- Ayushman Bharat in Jharkhand's capital Ranchi. During the event, he also laid foundation stones for medical colleges in Chaibasa and Koderma of Jharkhand.
Addressing a public gathering during the event, Prime Minister Modi said, "We are witnessing the special moment which in future will surely be regarded as one of the biggest service in welfare of mankind. We are taking a significant step to ensure that poor of the poorest get medical assistance and better medical facilities are provided to them. In over 400 districts of India, such an event is being organized and they will take forward the programme which we will start from here."
He also took a dig at past governments and said, "I was told that since Independence, Jharkhand only had three medical colleges and 350 students, and now after last four year we are looking at 8 medical colleges and 1200 students. I don't think there can be a bigger example of how a work is done at a rapid pace."
Elaborating further on the massive structure of the PMJAY scheme, Prime Minister Modi said that the number of beneficiaries of this scheme can be compared to the population of many countries combined together.
He said, "PMJAY for me is an opportunity to serve the poor. Over 50 crore people of the country will get health insurance cover of five lakh rupees through this scheme, which is the biggest scheme of its type in the whole world. The number of beneficiaries of this scheme is so huge that one has to combine the entire population of the European Union comprising of 27-28 countries to get an idea of how many Indian people are actually going to be benefited by the extensive coverage of PMJAY. Hence it is being termed as a game changer scheme in India. In coming days, I am sure that people working in medical- Arogya domain throughout the world, be it social scientists, medical practitioners etc., will be compelled to study this scheme and may have to think of a global initiative on similar lines."
Speaking further he added, "Nobody wants to fall ill or get admitted in hospital but now if unfortunately the poor have to face such circumstances, they will be provided with best of the services that any rich person can afford in the country. For the flawless implementation, the trial of this scheme was going on in different districts of the country since some time. I am confident that this scheme will provide the real 'right to health' to the citizens of this country and will strengthen the healthcare sector. Our aim with this scheme is that excellent healthcare doesn't remain limited to a few people and everyone gets to take the benefit of the same. Whenever Indian healthcare is talked about, it is said that a large part of income is spent on the medical assistance and a lot of people get pulled back in the cycle of poverty due to a medical emergency. As much as 1300 serious diseases can be treated through this scheme in not only government but private hospitals as well. Over 13,000 hospitals have been listed under this scheme and in coming times, more will be added with time."
Launching an attack on the previous governments, Modi said, "Since independence, there have been slogans of removing poverty. If 30-40-50 years back, the people doing politics in the name of poor would have done something to uplift them, then the picture of the country would have been different. I have lived in poverty. Giving freebies to nurture one's political ambitions was the modus operandi earlier. We have caught the root cause of this problem. We have stressed upon the empowerment of the poor. We have given them a house which changes their way of life when a poor mother gets a gas connection, she gains confidence, when a poor get a bank account, they get self-respect and resolve to save money. The maximum of those who brought accolades and medals in Asian games were born in poor families but brought laurels to the country when given a chance. Hence all our schemes are for the empowerment of the poor."
He also attacked the past governments for indulging in politics of appeasement and asserted that previous governments have only worked on the lines of vote bank politics and have used government money to increase their political strength.
Prime Minister also inaugurated 10 wellness centres on the occasion, speaking about which, he said, "There are about 40 such centres in Jharkhand and about 2000 to 2500 will be built. We have a target of having 1.5 lakh such health and wellness centres all over the country. These will be used for the diagnosis and treatment of elementary diseases. We are also working to increase human resource in the field of medicine. We expect that in the upcoming three years as much as 2,500 new and modern hospitals will come up in tier 2, tier 3 cities of India. The scheme will also generate a large number of employment in the field of paramedical staff, insurance sector and medicine sector among others. Eighty new medical hospitals and colleges are currently being built in the country."
Prime Minister Modi also informed that in last four years, there has been an increase of about 25,000 seats in the field of medical education.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda also addressed at the launch of PMJAY scheme.
Speaking at the launch Nadda said, "This is a historic day as we are taking a huge leap in the health domain of the country. This scheme is being talked about in the world and the world is watching it with extreme interest. With this, the country is taking the biggest leap in the field of universal healthcare. As per the directions of Prime Minister Modi, this scheme will be completely paperless, cashless and portable. The golden card being given as part of PMJAY will provide a health insurance of five lakh to the families of poor and needy. Before this, the department of health was a provider but now we have turned into a payer."
"In last four years, 58 government medical colleges have been allotted by Government of India. The state of Jharkhand has also got five of these medical colleges. All these medical colleges are under the different stage of development. The government of India is providing 250 crores for each medical college", he further added while speaking about infrastructural development in the field of healthcare.
Addressing the gathering, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das underscored, "In last three and half years, this is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 7th visit here which shows his affection towards the state. Our Prime Minister believes that a country can only be developed when every individual makes progress. All his schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojna, Ujjwala Yojna, PMJAY etc. are all aimed at extending the benefit of development to all strata's of society. Since independence, we had only three medical colleges and now Prime Minister Modi has given us five more. Under his leadership India has become the third largest economy in the world after the United States of America and China."
Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and many other diginitaries were also present at the launch of the scheme.
On the occasion of 72nd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced AB-PMJAY scheme from the ramparts of the Red Fort.