CM Jagan addressing a public session on Future-Proofing Health System' at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday. (Photo: Twitter)
DAVOS / VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has advocated the need for a comprehensive healthcare system to be made available, accessible and affordable for all to face pandemic situations as in the two years of the Coronavirus spread.
Addressing a public session on ‘Future-Proofing Health System’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, the chief minister said nobody had ever anticipated a Covid-like situation and the world was caught unawares. This called for suitable changes in the medical field, he said.
Jagan called for a strong healthcare system to face future outbreaks of such pandemics and stressed the need for the world to come up with a preventive and curative treatment in a more effective manner.
Referring to the outbreak of Covid-19 in his state, Andhra Pradesh, the CM said, "The pre/post-Covid-19 situation was an eye-opener to all of us. We took up the three-Ts -- tracing, testing and treating -- in a big way to curb its spread. As AP was a newly formed state, we were not having a modern and multi-specialty healthcare system on lines of tier-1 cities like Bengaluru, Chennai or Hyderabad. So, after identifying such a lacunae, we carried out a door-to-door survey in 44 phases as part of preventive measures against Covid-19 and built a robust system to deliver services at the doorsteps of the people."
"We set up a village secretariat in every hamlet and appointed a volunteer for every cluster of 50 houses in addition to roping in 42,000 Asha workers to handle the Coronavirus pandemic in an effective manner. This resulted in bringing down the Covid death rate to 0.63 per cent in AP against the national average of 1.21 per cent. When one has to face a Covid-like pandemic, it is important to pay attention to two modes of treatment -- prevention and control -- besides strengthening the health care system."
The CM said, "As part of this, we are setting up village clinics, one each for every 2,000 population, with village as a unit. Two primary health centres are also to be set up by taking a ‘mandal’ with a 30,000 population as a unit. Each PHC will be having four doctors and every doctor will be given a 104 vehicle so that he or she can take care of four to five villages by visiting them every alternate day."
"They will also serve as family doctors by visiting the allotted villages and interacting with the people to know about their health issues and this will result in a village clinic to serve as a health hub in a village and this facility will also have the services of ANM, nursing graduate, mid-level health practitioner and Asha workers."
The CM also said that the state was setting up several medical colleges, one for each Parliamentary constituency, so that these would produce postgraduate students who would, in turn, find attached teaching hospitals to practise their medicine and provide health care to the patients.
He said that the state had fixed a deadline to complete construction of medical colleges in three years and was in the process of mobilising Rs 16,000 crore for this purpose. The upcoming 16 medical colleges were in addition to the existing 11 medical colleges working under government control.
As regards health insurance, the CM said that when the Centre under its Ayushman Bharat scheme was able to cover nearly 1,000 procedures, the AP government under the YSR Arogyasri scheme -- named after his father late YSR Reddy -- was covering 1,446 procedures.
A total of 1.44 crore Arogyasri cards were distributed to the people in the state to avail health care under the scheme. Those having their annual income below Rs 5 lakh were eligible to get the health card to access healthcare. For the nearly 1.53 crore families in the state, 1.44 crore Arogyasri cards were distributed and 25 lakh people in AP availed free health care under the scheme in the last three years, he said.
Top businessmen meet CM
Among others, Mitsui OSK Lines president Takeshi Hashimoto and Hero Group chairman-cum-managing director Pawan Manjul met Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Mitsui OSK Lines president Hashimoto said they had discussed the opportunities in the areas of shipping and logistics and added that as Andhra Pradesh was having a great potential given its long coastline, they plan to expand the Indian operations. He further said the upcoming four new sea ports in AP would make the atmosphere more conducive for expanding their activities.
Meanwhile, the Hero Group CMD Pawan Manjul discussed on their expansion plans in AP.