More health and wellness centres coming up

 thehindu.com  10/12/2019 19:35:49 

Union Minister for Science and Technology and Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said India will have 1.50 lakh Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by 2022. About 22,000 HWCs catering to primary healthcare were already functioning across the country, he added.

He told reporters here that the number of HWCs was expected to rise to 40,000 by March next year and added that funds towards setting up of 51,000 HWCs had already been released. From vaccination to preventive healthcare and screening for various diseases, the centres will look into healthcare needs of the population under the scheme besides educating the community on various health issues, including the health campaigns such as maternal health launched by the Centre.

He said the Ayushman Bharat programme aims to cover 10.74 crore population, providing tertiary care in the best medical set-up.

In response to a question on the allocation to science and health sectors, the Minister said the 2.5 per cent of the countrys GDP was going towards public healthcare as per the National Health Policy-2017. We expect the States to set aside at least 8 percent of their total budget for the healthcare sector.

As far as the allocation to science and technology was concerned, the Centre has increased it from 20 per cent to 90 per cent in the last five years.

At the same time, optimal utilisation of grants in these sectors was also important besides giving focussed attention to health, science and education.

The Minister said the number of medical colleges was being increased by 157.

This will result in the increase of 78,000 UG seats and 29,000 PG seats in medical colleges, he said, adding that the number of AIIMS have risen from 6 to 21.

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