India has moved away "from token solution to total solution" in the healthcare sector, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday citing the "widespread adoption'' of teleconsultation services.
The minister said teleconsultation service e-Sanjeevani is providing affordable and accessible healthcare, especially in rural and remote areas, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While 1,17,400 Ayushman Bharat -Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) have been made functional, the government said it is committed to establishing 1,50,000 such centres by December 2022. More than one lakh have registered successfully on e-Sanjeevani HWCs portal too.
"People in many states have been quick to recognise the benefits of e-Sanjeevani and this has led to an encouraging trend of widespread rapid adoption of this digital modality of seeking health services.
"Patients consult with doctors and specialists on a daily basis using this innovative digital medium to seek health services," Mandaviya said while chairing the 4th anniversary celebrations of Ayushman Bharat -Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) through a video conference.
The minister said some HWCs are also providing screening services for some serious diseases like oral, breast and cervical cancers.
This helps the country not only in early detection but also in providing early treatment to the patient. "Healthy citizens can only make a healthy society and a healthy society builds a healthy nation. AB-HWCs are a stepping stone towards this vision," he said.
Teleconsultation services, he said, are very crucial for people in remote areas and are helpful in making healthcare services accessible for all.
States and UTs should mobilise all stakeholders in providing services at the spokes and efficiently connecting them with the hubs, the minister stressed.
He advised states and UTs to proactively spread awareness regarding AB-HWCs health melas which will be organised under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav from April 18-22 in addition to the Yoga sessions to be organised on April 17 at all HWCs.
He also advised states to extensively do screening for TB, cervical cancer, diabetes and oral cancer during this Health Mela.
The minister also released four booklets Quarterly report on Ayushman Bharat on AB-HWCs, Guidelines on human resources for health, Public Health Management Cadre Guidance for implementation and Indian Public Health Standards Guidelines.
More than 1,17,440 HWCs are actively providing expanded health services across the country, which has minimised the distance of a person from a health centre to 30 minutes, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said.
"Be it pregnant mothers, newborn babies, our teens, teenagers or respected elders, all are availing the benefits of health services at the Health and Wellness Centres," she said.
Not only this, the health and wellness center infrastructure has also been designed keeping in view the needs of the specially-abled patients. These health centers are ensuring the delivery of health facilities in the health interest of the community and fulfilling the commitments of National Health Policy 2017, Pawar said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed that the government is committed to the establishment of 1,50,000 Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres by December 2022.
He said that already 1,17,400 AB-HWCs have been made functional in the country and more than one lakh have registered successfully on e-Sanjeevani HWCs portal too.
Reiterating the National Health policy's idea to achieve universal health coverage, Bhushan said that it is being proactively taken up by the government and these HWCs will help in bolstering efforts in achieving the same.
These HWCs provide free testing, diagnostic services, etc so the citizens can get quality care at their local HWCs.
Translating the intent of the National Health Policy 2017 to achieve universal health coverage into budgetary commitment, the government announced the establishment of 1,50,000 AB-HWCs in February 2018.
According to the Health ministry, existing Sub-Health Centres and Primary Health Centres in rural and urban areas are being transformed to deliver comprehensive primary health care, to all citizens, free of cost, closer to homes.