New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) India's healthcare sector is witnessing big and positive changes due to steps such as free treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh annually to the poor under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and increase in the number of new medical colleges across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
Modi's assertion came in his written reply to the beneficiaries of a free camp for cataract operations in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. They had each sent a letter to the prime minister to thank him for the government's work.
In the past few days, under the 'Swastha Drishti, Samridh Kashi' campaign, hundreds of people in Varanasi have successfully undergone free eye surgery, officials said.
Responding to the letters, Modi wrote, "What can be greater happiness and satisfaction than this that we have been able to bring some positive changes in your life with our efforts."
"There was a time when poor and middle class families could not get proper treatment and perhaps they accepted this as their destiny. We have seen how mothers and sisters sometimes used to hide their diseases just because they were afraid that the cost of their treatment would worsen the family's economic condition," Modi was quoted as saying in the letters.
In the letters, Modi expressed satisfaction that due to continuous efforts, many major reforms have been made in the health sector in the last eight to nine years.
"The healthcare sector of the country is witnessing big and positive changes through many steps such as free treatment of up to five lakh rupees annually to the poor under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, construction of modern health centres at the district level, increase in the number of new medical colleges including AIIMS, across the country and medicines at affordable rates through Jan Aushadhi Kendras," the prime minister said.