New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the government was committed to provide accessible and affordable health care to all its citizens and was making efforts to promote alternate systems of medicine.

Addressing the joint session of parliament at the beginning of the budget session, Mukherjee said the erstwhile department of AYUSH had recently been elevated to a full-fledged ministry to increase the global and local footprint of the traditional systems of healthcare.

A national AYUSH Mission has also been launched to promote cost effective AYUSH services, strengthen the education system and facilitate availability of quality AYUSH drugs, he said.

Mukherjee said that a new scheme to reduce preventable deaths has been initiated and four new vaccines have been approved.

"'Mission Indradhanush' has been launched to achieve universal immunisation with special focus on 184 high priority districts across the country," he said.

To create an inclusive, enabling and empowering environment for persons with disabilities, my government has launched new scholarship schemes for students with disabilities, the president said.

A national helpline with toll-free number has been launched for those who need help against drug de-addiction and for rehabilitation.

"My government is committed to providing affordable and accessible health care to all its citizens, particularly the vulnerable sections, in an efficient and equitable manner," the president added.