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Under the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), it is envisaged to develop two self-contained container-based mobile hospitals as part of strengthening disaster and epidemic preparedness, Union Minister of State for Health, Bharati Pravin Pawar, said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

She informed that these mobile hospitals can be deployed at a short notice during emergencies such as natural calamities or disasters, as well as epidemic outbreaks, according to the needs of the country.

Pawar further said in her reply that the government is developing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts under the PM-ABHIM.

Pawar informed the House that the Centre aims to set up 1,50,000 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) by December 2022, as platforms to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare (CPHC) closer to home.

Under Ayushman Bharat, the existing sub-health centres (SHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs) are being transformed into AB-HWCs to deliver CPHC that includes preventive, promotive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services, which will be universal, free and close to the community.

As per the HWC portal, 80,545 AB-HWCs, including 54,507 SHC-HWCs, 21,830 PHC-HWCs and 4,208 UPHC-HWCs are operationalised as on December 2, she added.

The Health Ministry administers a centrally-sponsored scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges, which has sanctioned 157 new medical colleges to be established in three phases. Out of these, 70 medical colleges have become functional, said the MoS Health.

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