Friday, 10 January 2014

Smt Santosh Chowdhary at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014: India has immense to offer in the healthcare sector

Smt. Santosh Chowdhary, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare addressed the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, here today. 

Speaking at the occasion, the MoS (Health) highlighted several achievements of the Government in the healthcare area. She stated that with the 12th Plan allocations projecting a three-fold increase over the 11th Plan period, “Health” has become a central theme in our aim to achieve universal and inclusive healthcare for all our citizens. 

She also stated that India has immense to offer in the area of healthcare and there are tremendous opportunities for domestic and trans-national stakeholders to deliver in this sector, whether for health services, health research, infrastructure, medical equipment and technology or health insurance, pharmaceuticals, laboratories, etc. Smt. Chowdhary also said that healthcare industry in India is seen as booming in the last decades. 

Currently, it is estimated at US Dollar 80 billion and is expected to touch US Dollar 160 billion by the year 2017. She further said that India is now regarded as the ‘Pharmacy of the developing world’. It is because of our price and quality that we export drugs to more than 150 countries including highly regulated European Union, Japan and US markets, the MoS pointed out. 

The Minister pointed out that under the NRHM more than Rs.1,11,000 crores have been released to 35 State Governments and UTs; nearly 51,000 health facilities have been created, including new construction and up-gradation works to improve public health infrastructure; and more than 70,000 beds have been added in government health institutions for provision of essential and emergency services across the country. 

She also said that it is a matter of great pride that in the last couple of years the field of medical research and development has been revolutionized. India has developed testing strips for diabetes, diagnostic tests for TB, Lung fluke, Dengue, cancer and several other infections, and newer environment friendly methods of mosquito control have been developed. 

Highlighting the achievements of the AYUSH department, Smt. Chowdhary stated that with supportive Government policies and strategies, the country has developed a vast infrastructure of AYUSH facilities. She said that India is one of the 17 mega bio-diversity rich countries and has 7% of the world’s bio-diversity.

 It has one of the oldest, richest and most diverse cultural traditions, associated with the use of medicinal plants, she said. The affordability of most traditional medicines makes them all the more attractive at a time of soaring healthcare costs and nearly universal austerity, the Minister informed the gathering. 

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