PM Modi helps a tribal woman put on her slippers at the launch of Ayushman Bharat scheme at Jangla village in Bastar on Saturday.
While the government plans to open 1.5 lakh such centres by 2022, NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul said, of these, 15,000 centres - equipped to treat a host of communicable and non-communicable diseases - would be opened by the end of this year. "In Chhattisgarh we have witnessed revolutionary changes in health services".
"There were only two medical colleges in Chhattisgarh, but now the figure has reached to 10", he said.
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Ayushman Bharat has twin missions to create a network of health and wellness centres to deliver comprehensive primary health care close to the community, and to provide insurance cover to 40 percent of India's population, which is deprived of secondary and tertiary care, including instance and hospitalisation costs.
Pointing out that bamboo had earlier been placed in the category of trees making its cultivation impossible, the Prime Minister said that the relevant law has been amended enabling its cultivation and use. He said there will be free dialysis facility for the poor of the state and doctors will be available 24 hours. It would be connected to the district hospital for advanced tele-medical consultations. "Around 2.5 lakh patients have benefited through it". His visit to Chhattisgarh coincides with the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Dr B R Ambedkar.
Like everyone else, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, who was standing next to the Prime Minister when he chose to make it a memorable moment for the woman, was also taken aback. He also laid foundation stones for road and bridge projects worth over Rs 1,700 crore.