"It is our duty to keep our nation's health as the first priority as envisioned by our prime minister," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on the occasion of National Doctors' Day on Friday.
Lauding the medical fraternity for its selfless service, Mandaviya, who chaired the Doctors' Day Celebration at Lady Hardinge Medical College, said, "Our physicians and medical professionals have played a crucial role in our lives. Celebrating this day on July 1 every year is one such effort to recognise their immense role."
As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate India's 75th year of Independence, Mandaviya said the government is also felicitating stalwarts from the medical fraternity, who are more than 75 years old, for their dedication and contribution, a health ministry statement said.
Doctors' Day is observed in honour of noted doctor and former West Bengal chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy, whose birth and death anniversaries coincide on July 1.
Calling upon the medical community to take inspiration from Dr Roy, Madaviya said, "It is our pious duty to keep the health of our nation as the first priority."
"Health is seen as a 'seva' (service) in our country and our medical professionals have followed our country's tradition of 'Seva bhav' and 'Seva Parmo Dharma' by working tirelessly and selflessly. This was the sole reason our Covid warriors rose to the occasion and performed their duty in a selfless manner," he added.
Mandaviya emphasised that our efforts need to be directed towards the country's advancement.
"Nation should always come first. We must continue our seva bhav, only then will we be able to build a healthy India, which in turn will lead to a 'Samruddha Rashtra' (prosperous nation)," he said.
Highlighting challenges such as tuberculosis (TB), cataract and leprosy among others, the minister urged all medical professionals and other stakeholders to work with commitment and dedication to fulfil targets such as achieving TB Mukt Bharat and leprosy eradication from the country, the statement said.
The government has been working with all stakeholders towards creating a holistic health ecosystem with an overall aim of affordability, availability, accessibility and quality of health services by creating long-term synergies, it said.