Pandemic provided chance to strengthen healthcare infrastructure: Mandaviya

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) The pandemic period provided an opportunity to strengthen the country’s healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said here on Thursday.

He made the observation while chairing the eighth meeting of Mission Steering Group (MSG) of National Health Mission (NHM).

The MSG is the apex decision-making body of NHM that takes decisions on policies and program implementation under the Mission.

For the first-time, health is being linked with the agenda of development under a holistic approach undertaken by the Centre, the minister said.

Highlighting the achievements under NHM, Mandaviya stated, “Exceeding the target of 1.50 lakh Ayushman Bharat- Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) by 31 December, 2022, more than 1.54 lakh Sub Health Centres and Primary Health Centres have been transformed as AB-HWCs. In sync with the approach of the National Health Policy 2017 (NHP 2017), AB-HWCs are providing comprehensive primary healthcare closer to the communities. As many as 12 health services packages are available free-of-charge.”

Emphasising the need to understand global healthcare systems and their best practices, Mandaviya said, “India can have its own healthcare model which would be aligned to its regional requirements, and customized to the local strengths and challenges”. Moving with the philosophy of Antyodaya, the Government aspires to provide affordable, accessible and quality healthcare services to each individual in every corner of the country, he emphasised.

The MSG of the NHM discussed various agenda points including confirmation of minutes of the last meeting of the MSG. The Action Taken Report on decisions taken during the 7th meeting of the MSG were discussed and it was decided to implement a saturated and thorough approach that encompasses all aspects of health and has a noteworthy reach and impact on the community.

Commending the progress under the Nikshay Mitra initiative, Mandaviya emphasised on the need to eradicate TB by 2025 as per the Prime Minister’s vision. The MSG also deliberated on increasing focus towards preventive and promotive health approach that advocates for a holistic wellness outlook in the community. Additionally, the MSG discussed strengthening of the national healthcare ecosystem and stressed on adoption of new technologies to upgrade and strengthen the existing healthcare infrastructure as part of new initiatives under NHM.

Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri Shri, Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Sekhawat, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar, MoS Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, and Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were also present on the occasion.

–IANS

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