India marches on towards Swastha, Shashakt and Samruddh Bharat
Last week, India achieved two major milestones under World’s Largest Vaccination Drive-by administering 2.5 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day on 17th September, the highest in a day, globally, and by crossing cumulative coverage of more than 80 crore doses. India surpassed these seemingly insurmountable benchmarks to become the country with the highest number of people in the world with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination. These landmarks could be achieved due to the tireless efforts of our frontline health workers, teams of committed officials across States/UTs and MoHFW, the private sector, and the partner organizations, under the visionary leadership of our (Hon’ble) Prime Minister ShriNarendraModiji, who had right from the start of the COVID-19 outbreak pressed upon with great urgency to protect every Indian from the perils of this pandemic by scaling the vaccination program.
In line with the conviction that a healthy Nation leads to an increase in the country’s productivity, creating a cascading effect to lead to better overall socio-economic outcomes, the Union Government has allocated Rs 2.23 lakh crore for health in the budget for 2021-22, a significant 137% increase over the previous year’s budget. This reaffirms the Modi Government’s commitment to deliver quality healthcare to every Indian and to bring about a transformation in India’s public healthcare sector.
Ever since 2014, we have made the health of our people the topmost priority of the Government. Accordingly, we initiated the ambitious Mission Indradhanush, launched in Dec 2014, resulting in more than 90% immunization coverage in India. This Mission was further intensified in 2019-20, to reach vulnerable and high-risk groups, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to leave no one behind. We are proud that since its launch, 3.86 crore children and nearly 97 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated under Mission Indradhanush.
We announced the National Health Policy (NHP) as an expression of a broad overarching reform agenda in 2017, with the commitment of universal health coverage.
Constantly guided by PM Modiji’s vision for providing affordable healthcare to the disadvantaged, the Ayushman Bharat program was rolled out with two components - Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) which aims to deliver health and wellbeing through comprehensive preventive, (To be contd)