President Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind
ANI Photo

New Delhi: Around 26 Lakh people have availed treatment so far in several hospitals across the country under the Ayushman Bharat scheme since its launch in September last year, President Ram Nath Kovind said Thursday. Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, Kovind said the cost of medical treatment pushes the poor families into financial crisis.

"In order to protect them (poor families) from this crisis, world's biggest healthcare scheme 'Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) has been implemented, providing 'Health-Protection-Cover' to 50 crore poor people. "Under this, so far about 26 lakh poor patients have availed treatment in hospitals," he said. In order to provide medicines at affordable rates, 5,300 'Jan Aushadhi Kendras' have also been opened.

"It is our endeavour to provide medicines at affordable rates to people residing in far-flung areas through these 'Jan Aushadhi Kendras'," he said. Kovind further said till now, about 18,000 such Health and Wellness Centres have already been operationalised across the country.

The objective is to set up about 1.5 lakh 'Health and Wellness Centres' in rural areas by 2022, he said. According to the health ministry, under its flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme, a target to transform nearly 1.5 lakh primary health centres and sub-centres as health and wellness centres by 2022 has been set to provide comprehensive and quality primary care close to the community.

These centres will be equipped to provide treatment for various diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and old age-related ailments. The President further said that the world community enthusiastically supported India's proposal to declare June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga' by the United Nations.

At present, several programmes associated with International Day of Yoga are being organized with great enthusiasm in various countries, of which the most important events will be held tomorrow, he added. PTI PLB

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