The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today expressed his concern over the urban-rural gap in health infrastructure and called upon the private sector to join hands with the government to bring the latest healthcare diagnostic and treatment facilities to the rural areas at an affordable cost.
He said, “There is an urgent need to bridge this divide so that people in rural areas also get access to modern and state-of-the-art healthcare in their own villages.” Stressing the importance of providing quality healthcare to every individual, the Vice President said, “No one in our villages should suffer because of lack of medical facilities.”
Speaking at the inauguration of Amara Multispecialty Hospital in Tirupati, the Vice President also appealed to all eligible citizens to get vaccinated. He said, “I would like to utilize this opportunity to renew my appeal to all eligible citizens to get vaccinated and join the fight against COVID-19″
Complimenting the government for allocating a sum of Rs. 2,23,846 crores to health in the recent budget, he said:”I am certain that this move will give a powerful boost to creating healthcare infrastructure in our country and most importantly, cut the out-of-pocket expenditure on health.”
Shri Naidu also called for spreading awareness on health schemes like Ayushman Bharat so that the underprivileged could take advantage of it.
Praising the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers for their leadership and in the fight against coronavirus, Shri Naidu said that they worked together as a united ‘Team India’ in this hour of crisis. He, however, said that special appreciation should go to doctors and medical staff for their relentless efforts to contain the pandemic. The Vice President said, ” the nation will always remain grateful to our medical fraternity, including doctors, para-medical staff, health, sanitary and ASHA workers for their selfless service and sacrifices during one of the most challenging periods of our time.” He also acknowledged the gallant work done by the police personnel during the pandemic and appreciated media persons for working on the frontline to keep the public informed and educated about Coronavirus.
Citing India’s incessant efforts of sharing resources with the rest of the world, the Vice President said, “We lived up to our age-old philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam by supplying medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries in the world. Since the rollout of the “Made in India” COVID vaccines in January this year, India has supplied vaccines to several countries.” He said that India’s reputation of being a “pharmacy to the world” shines even more brightly today.
Noting the toll hospital visits take on patients and their family members, the Vice President, appealed to the healthcare providers to explore ways to improve patient experience and reduce patient suffering. Calling for bringing a human touch to medical profession, he said that the doctors should not just rely upon the medical tests but also spend time with and talk to the patients. The Vice President also urged the doctors, actors and media persons to educate the public about the preventive steps and safeguard from Covid-19. He termed the politics, medical profession and education as means of public service.
Expressing his concern over the rise in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Vice President called upon everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle by taking up regular physical exercise, consuming nutritious and balanced diet, practicing yoga and meditation to keep NCDs at bay.
Complimenting Dr Prasad Gourineni and Dr Ramadevi Gourineni for setting up Amara Hospital, he expressed the hope that it would provide world-class healthcare to the public at an affordable cost.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri K Narayana Swamy, Founder of Amara Raja Group of Companies, Shri Galla Ramchandra Naidu, Former Minister, Smt. Galla Aruna Kumari, Lok Sabha MP from Guntur, Shri Jayadev Galla, Chairman Amara Hospital, Dr Prasad Gaurineni, Managing Director Amara Hospital, Smt. Ramadevi Gaurineni and other staff members of Amara Hospital were present on the occasion.
Following is the full text of the speech:
“I am delighted to be here to inaugurate Amara multispecialty hospital in Tirupati. I am told that NRI doctors, Dr Prasad Gourineni and Dr Ramadevi Gourineni decided to set up Amara Hospital here in Tirupati with the aim of bringing world-class healthcare to the people of Rayalaseema and beyond.
I commend them for their vision and congratulate them on the inauguration of Amara Hospital today.
Dear sisters and brothers,
As we know, last year, the pandemic came into our lives unannounced and brought a ‘new normal’ into our lifestyles. Novel Coronavirus claimed many precious lives across the world, while many others succumbed to post-COVID complications. In this respect, India has been fortunate—the fatality rate from COVID has been mercifully low in our country.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a standstill all over the world, and impacted India with full force about a year ago. But our brave healthcare personnel and frontline COVID warriors worked untiringly at grave risk to their lives. In the process, they saved countless lives. The nation will always remain grateful to our medical fraternity, including doctors, para-medical staff, health, sanitary and ASHA workers for their selfless service and sacrifices during one of the most challenging periods of our time. It is our duty to acknowledge the gallant work of our police personnel who stood by the nation in these testing times. Our media persons worked on the front lines and kept us educated and updated on all issues related to novel Coronavirus. The nation will remember their exceptional effort.
All things considered, despite the pandemic bringing about an unprecedented situation, India fought it with remarkable resilience. About two weeks after the WHO declared novel Coronavirus as a global pandemic, the Government of India imposed a countrywide lockdown. This helped choke the chain of transmission of the virus across our large country. In a well-calibrated strategy, authorities in all states monitored the COVID challenge at the highest level—tracking, testing, tracing, identifying and isolating the infected.
Fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, India managed to keep its COVID-19 death rate at one of the lowest globally. Conversely, our recovery rate of over 97 %, is one of the highest in the world. We also lived up to our age-old philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam by supplying medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries in the world. Since the rollout of the “Made in India” COVID vaccines in January this year, India has supplied vaccines to several countries so far. With these remarkable achievements, India continued to raise the bar in sharing resources and collaborative effort. Our reputation of being a “pharmacy to the world” shines even more brightly today.
I must also compliment the government for allocating 2,23,846 crores to health and well-being in the recent budget. I am certain that this move will give a powerful boost to creating healthcare infrastructure in our country and most importantly, cut the out-of-pocket expenditure on health. With the world’s largest vaccination drive currently underway, I would like to utilize this opportunity to renew my appeal to all eligible citizens to get themselves vaccinated and join the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The growing divide in the health infrastructure and healthcare services in rural and urban areas is a matter of deep concern. There is an urgent need to bridge this divide so that people in rural areas also get access to modern and state-of-the-art healthcare in their own villages. It is on this aspect that all of us need to work collectively with a sense of urgency. For this to become a reality before long, the private sector must join hands with the government to bring the latest healthcare diagnostic and treatment facilities to the rural areas at an affordable cost. Let us not forget that quality healthcare is the right of every individual. No one in our villages should suffer because of lack of medical facilities there.
As we know, suffering from any form of the disease not only takes a toll on the patients and their families physically and mentally, but affects them financially as well. Due to the rising costs of medical treatment, many people used to be driven into poverty every year. To mitigate this situation, the government came up with a pioneering universal healthcare initiative—Ayushman Bharat. Around 10.74 crore needy and vulnerable, entitled families stand to gain from the scheme, which provides a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empanelled hospitals in India. What is needed from all segments of society is to create awareness among beneficiaries about Ayushman Bharat and other such schemes so that the underprivileged can make the most of it.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
It is an uphill task for the Government alone to overcome the challenges in the health sector. Therefore, the private sector must step in to support the government and provide whatever possible help it can to the needy in our society. As part of CSR initiatives, private hospitals should plan regular visits of healthcare specialists to rural areas around them. They should also organize wellness and awareness camps. These small initiatives will prove worthwhile in the long run.
Visits to hospitals for treatment can sometimes be very strenuous for patients and their families, especially in cases of chronic and long-term illnesses. Therefore, I would like to appeal to all healthcare providers to explore ways to improve patient experience and reduce patient suffering, especially when it comes to senior citizens and children.
The rise in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is a worrisome trend that needs to be arrested. According to the WHO, globally, around 41 million people die due to NCDs each year, which equals 71% of all deaths worldwide. Lifestyle is another critical issue. Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, stress and tobacco consumption are among the significant factors that increase the risk of NCDs. All these factors are well within our control. Therefore, we must take to physical exercise, consuming a nutritious, balanced diet, practicing yoga and meditation for stress relief and to keep NCDs in check. As Swami Vivekananda once said, “You must keep a strict eye on your health; let everything else be subordinated to that.”
Before concluding, I would also like to compliment Sri Ramachandra Naidu and Smt. Aruna, who had returned from the USA to serve the motherland by setting up Amara Raja Batteries, one of the leading industries in Rayalaseema region. They were inspired by former MP and social worker, the late Sri Paturi Rajagopala Naidu, whom I admire very much.
I have always been advising students, researchers and others who go abroad to pursue higher studies “to learn, earn and return” to serve the motherland.
It is important for everyone to strive for excellence in their chosen fields and also develop a desire to serve the needy and less privileged in the true spirit of service.
The setting up of this hospital exemplifies India’s age-old philosophy of ‘share and care’.
Once again, I would like to congratulate Dr Prasad Gourineni, Dr Ramadevi Gourineni and other staff members on this new beginning and hope that Amara Hospital will provide world-class healthcare to the public at an affordable cost.