Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Sathya Sai Grama, Chikkaballapur in Karnataka. Set up by the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, the institute will provide medical education and quality medical care completely free of cost to all.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister called Sathya Sai Grama a wonderful model of service and lauded the mission being undertaken by the institution through education and health initiatives. He said the medical college, inaugurated for the 2023 academic session, strengthened this mission.
Mr Modi noted that Chikkaballapur is the birthplace of one of the architects of modern India, Sir M M Visvesvaraya and expressed gratitude for getting the opportunity to pay tribute to his samadhi and visit his museum.
The Prime Minister said India has resolved to be a developed nation during the Amrit Kaal, but there is curiosity among people about accomplishing the mammoth goal in such a short time. “There is just one answer, a strong, resolute and resourceful answer i.e Sabka Prayas. This is going to be surely realized by the effort of every countryman,” he said.
Mr Modi said there were less than 380 medical colleges in the country before 2014, but the number has gone up to more than 650 today. Forty medical colleges have been developed in aspirational districts of the country that were once lagging behind in terms of development.
In the last nine years, the Prime Minister mentioned that the number of medical seats in the country has doubled. The number of doctors produced by the country in the next 10 years will be the same as the number of doctors produced in India since Independence, he said.
Underlining that Karnataka is also reaping the benefits of the development carried out in the country, the Prime Minister said the State is home to roughly 70 medical colleges in the country and the medical college inaugurated in Chikkaballapur is an example of the efforts of the “double-engine” government in the State.
He informed the gathering about the decision taken to develop more than 150 nursing institutions in the country as part of this year’s Budget and said that this would create new opportunities for the youth in the nursing sector.
Mentioning the challenge of language in medical education, Mr Modi lamented that there were little efforts made in the past to promote local languages in medical education. He said that these political parties were not willing to see youth from villages and backward places find a place in the medical and engineering professions.
“Our government works for the welfare of the poor. It has given an option of medical education in all Indian languages including Kannada,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister lamented the practice in politics that was going on in the country for a long time where the poor were considered only as vote banks. “Our government has considered serving the poor as its highest duty. We have given priority to the health of the poor and middle class,” he said.
He gave the example of Jan Aushadhi Kendras or low-price medicine outlets and said that there are about 10,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country today, out of which more than 1000 are located in Karnataka. This initiative has allowed the poor to save thousands of crores of rupees on medicines.
In the past, the poor could not afford going to hospitals for treatment. The present government took notice of this concern of the poor and resolved it with the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, which has opened the doors of hospitals for poor families.
Underlining that lakhs of people in Karnataka have also benefited from this scheme, the Prime Minister said, “The Government has guaranteed free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh to the poor.” The Prime Minister gave examples of expensive surgery procedures such as heart surgery, knee replacement, and dialysis etc and pointed out that the government has taken all necessary steps to reduce the expensive fees.
“We are giving top priority to mothers and sisters in health-related policies,” the Prime Minister remarked. Underlining that the health of a whole generation improves when the health and nutrition of mothers improves, the Prime Minister said that the government is giving special emphasis towards this and gave the example of schemes to build toilets, provide free gas connections, provide tap water to every household, provide free sanitary pads and send money directly to the bank for nutritious food.
He underlined the special attention given by the government towards breast cancer and informed that health and wellness centers are being opened in the villages and efforts are being made to screen such diseases in the early stages itself.
The Prime Minister congratulated Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai and his team for setting up more than 9,000 health and wellness centers in the state.
The Prime Minister praised the Karnataka government for strengthening and empowering ANM and ASHA workers. He said 50,000 ANM and ASHA workers and about one lakh registered nurses and health workers of Karnataka received modern gadgets.
Along with health, he said, the double-engine government of the State was paying full attention to the economic empowerment of women. It is also the effort of the Double-Engine government to increase the participation of women in dairy co-operatives.
Self-help groups of women in the villages are also being empowered, the Prime Minister said. “When the country is healthy and ‘Sabka Prayas’ is devoted to development, then we will achieve the goal of a developed India faster”, he said.
Chief Minister of Karnataka Bommai, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Center for Child Heart Care Dr C Srinivas, and Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai were present on the occasion, among others.