Every Indian will be screened for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke over the next five years, union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
"India will be the first country in the world to screen the entire population in the next five years," he said.
Pilot projects have already been launched in 100 districts and in the slums of 30 cities with populations of more than 10 lakh, 20,000 sub-centres will screen 17-18 crore people.The scheme will be implemented in the remaining period of the 11th five-year plan and in 12th plan, the remaining parts of the country will be taken up.
The scheme was started with diabetes and blood pressure screening in Delhi in November 2010. It later travelled to Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The Centre provides the test kits and equipment while the states provide the logistics.
In India, 64 million people are projected to have heart disease in 2015 - 60% of cases in the world. With over 50 million cases, India is already the world's diabetes capital.
Under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, the Centre gives funds to states to provide up to Rs 1.5 lakh financial assistance to all BPL patients suffering from cancer. In 2011-12, 2,202 cancer patients have received financial help, of which 241 were recommended by MPs.