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Modi promises healthcare for poorest of poor

MODIAGEMUMBAI: Assuring that he would provide healthcare facilities to the country’s poorest of the poor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital on Saturday.

The Prime Minister also expressed concern about the high infant and maternal mortality rates in India and expressed hope that the hospital would help in efforts by the Central government to provide affordable health services.

“It is embarrassing to compare healthcare facilities in our country with those available abroad. Neonatal mortality is a matter of grave concern and so is maternal mortality,” the PM said.

“When a child falls into a borewell, families sit in front of TVs and the media gives a running commentary as gloom prevails everywhere, but we are hardly aware that hundreds of children die soon after being born.

“Many times, the mother and child both die for want of primary healthcare,” he said.

The 90-year-old hospital was refurbished and part of it was newly built by the Reliance Foundation.

Appreciating efforts by the Reliance Foundation, Modi said: “If hospitals like this are part of the network providing medical advice through telemedicine, quality healthcare can reach people living in remote areas for which Digital India can come in handy.

“I want the Digital India initiative to be effectively used for improving medicare and education.”

He was referring to the Digital India programme of the Union government.

The Prime Minister also said that medical equipment was gaining increasing importance in the field of healthcare, and the need of the hour for India is to manufacture such equipment, as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme.

The gathering was attended by governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Union minister Nitin Gadkari, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, his wife and Reliance Foundation chairperson Nita, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, cricket icons Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar.

Highlighting that preventive healthcare measures are economical, Modi said: “Treatment is expensive, while prevention is economical. Clean drinking water for all would be the biggest source of preventive healthcare and congratulated the government of Madhya Pradesh for its initiative of washing hands.”

Nita Ambani in her welcome address said that the hospital has drawn up an ambitious outreach programme benefiting over three lakh people.

She also informed that 50 doctors of Indian origin from USA, UK, Australia and other developed countries have returned to India to serve the nation.– From The Asian Age

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