NEW DELHI: India is well on the path to have one doctor per 1,000 population by 2024, which is the WHO (World Health Organisation)-recommended doctor-to-population ratio. This has been highlighted at a discourse series by NITI Aayog Member, Dr Vinod Paul.
During the same time, there would be an increase in the number of beds from 11 lakh to 22 lakh, added Paul.
"In the last 75 years, India has made significant progress in the health sector. At the time of Independence, the average life expectancy was just 28 years, and it has now reached close to 70 years. However, we are still far away from meeting the aspirations of people in terms of access to health services, and this remains a challenge," observed Paul.
India has taken a number of steps to address these problems in the last six-seven years, and the results are encouraging, pointed out Paul at the online Department of Science & Technology (DST) sponsored 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Discourse Series New India. It was organised by the National Council for Science & Technology Communication and Vigyan Prasar, a release said.
"The 'Ayushman Bharat Yojna' and the 'Jan Arogya Yojna' are the programmes that focus on providing all kinds of health facilities to people and are steps towards universal health coverage, affordability and accessibility to health facilities.
"Under the 'Jan Arogya Yojna', 50 crore people are eligible now for affordable health services. By the year 2022, 150,000 primary health care centres would be in place in rural as well as urban areas of the country, and these centres would be the hubs for primary health care. We have taken various steps to address the problem of availability of human resources in health. A very significant push has been given to bridge gaps by training doctors and doubling post-graduate seats," he added.
Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, highlighted the contribution of DST in the development and progress of the country in the last 50 years and its efforts to make India a science, technology and innovation power in the world.
"DST is a nursery to help, nurture and grow young talents for the progress and development of the country. DST has the capability to create future talents, and in the last five years, we have launched a whole lot of schemes and have taken various steps to identify loopholes and rectify them to ensure that science, technology and innovation play the key role in progress and development of the country," added Sharma.