India's health sector overcame trial by fire during COVID-19: PM Modi

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing at the launch of the pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing, in New Delhi on January 16, 2021. PIB

The prestige of India’s health sector and trust in it has increased manifold across the globe after it successfully overcame the trial by fire during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday and asserted that time has come to take accessibility and affordability in healthcare to the next level.

“Last year was in a way like ‘agnipareeksha’ (trial by fire) for the country and particularly for the health sector. I am happy that the country’s health sector was successful in this ‘agnipareeksha’. We managed to save so many lives,” he said addressing a webinar on effective implementation of the Union Budget’s provisions in the health sector.

The prime minister recalled how, within a few months, the country could set up a network of 2,500 labs and how it could reach a milestone of 21 crore tests from a mere dozen tests.

“From medical equipment to medicines, from ventilators to vaccines, from scientific research to surveillance infrastructure, from doctors to epidemiologists, we have to pay attention to all so that the country is better prepared for any health disaster in future,” he said.

The government has proposed a budget outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore for health and wellbeing in 2021-2022.