Country is fully prepared to deal with Covid-19 situation: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia said the focus of the government over the last eight years has been to transform healthcare into “holistic healthcare”

The country is fully prepared to deal with the coronavirus situation, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday, detailing the initiatives taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over the last eight years.

Scindia said the focus of the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership has been to transform healthcare into “holistic healthcare”.

“The pillars of the government’s healthcare programme are accessibility, affordability, assured quality and digital delivery. Following the PM’s vision of ‘One Nation One Health’, we collectively handled the Covid-19 situation,” he said, adding that 220 crore doses of vaccines have been administered till this Monday.

Scindia also referred to the high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to review the Covid-19 situation in the country amid a spike in some parts of the world, particularly China where large parts of the population do not have previous exposure or adequate protection through vaccination.

Outlining the string of steps taken by the government, Scindia, who holds the civil aviation and steel ministries portfolio, said that under the Modi government, medicines have become more affordable and the out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare has come down. “The share of out-of-pocket health expenditure as a percentage of total health expenditure has declined from 64.2% in 2013-14 to 48.2% in 2018-19,” he said.

Highlighting the NDA government’s achievements in the health sector, he said, “In 2014, there were only 6 AIIMS and today we have 22 AIIMS in the country. MBBS seats have been increased by 90%. The postgraduate seats in medical courses have also increased significantly,” he said.