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VP Naidu Pushes for More Institutes, Rural Healthcare and ‘Make in India’

In Health, Nation
December 10, 2018

Stressing on improving healthcare, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said the government should aim to establish an AIIMS in every state headquarters. “One such institute is not enough to provide quality education and treatment at affordable rates. In the next five years, the aim of the government is to establish AIIMS in every state headquarters,” said Naidu.

Addressing the 46th annual convocation of AIIMS Friday, Naidu emphasised on the need to promote indigenous manufacturing of medical equipment for treatment. He spoke about how India has become a hotspot for medical tourism, with people from many countries visiting for treatments ranging from liver transplant to knee replacement.

“We need to overcome this paradoxical situation by ensuring that treatment is affordable for all Indians. On one hand, India is making rapid development in medical tourism wherein foreign people are coming to our country for treatment, but many facilities are out of reach for local people. We should adopt the concept of ‘Make in India’ to promote state manufactured devices,” he said.

Out of pocket expenditure constitutes more than 60 per cent of all health expenses, which he said is a major drawback in a country like India, where a large segment of the population is poor. Approximately 63 million people fall into poverty each year due to lack of financial protection for their healthcare needs.

“We have to bridge the gap between the urban and rural divide by strengthening primary health care (PHC) and community health care (CHC) centres. The number of doctors at PHCs should be increased and they should be incentivised more, encouraging them to be a part of the set-up,” he said. On lifestyle diseases and the double burden on India, Naidu said cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes are contributing to substantial chunk of total deaths.

In a first, the country’s premier medical institute is soon going to start the facility of lung transplant for the patients.
“Looking forward to the new areas of research, we are soon coming up with the lung transplant program by next year. AIIMS has excelled in various areas in the last 15 years and with the capacity of 2,500 beds, we plan to double it up in next few years,” said AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria.