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Modicare to kick off on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, focus on wellness

Under the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat mission, primary healthcare will move from its current focus on neonatal care and communicable diseases to expand and include several other diseases and illnesses.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2018 01:43 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The comprehensive primary healthcare and the national health insurance scheme together form the two legs of Ayushman Bharat (popularised as ‘Modicare’), which was announced in this year’s budget.
The comprehensive primary healthcare and the national health insurance scheme together form the two legs of Ayushman Bharat (popularised as ‘Modicare’), which was announced in this year’s budget. (HT File Photo )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a nationwide comprehensive primary healthcare (CPH) programme in Bijapur in Chhattisgarh on April 14, Bhimrao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. The CPH will be a merger of the central government’s two flagship programmes – Ayushman Bharat and Transformation of Aspirational Districts – NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Thursday.

Modi will launch India’s first wellness centre in Jaangla village, 15km from the district headquarters of Bijapur, which has been identified by the federal think tank as the fastest improving most backward (or aspirational) district from a list of 101.

The CPH and the national health insurance scheme together form the two legs of Ayushman Bharat (popularised as ‘Modicare’), which was announced in this year’s budget. The scheme will convert 1.5 lakh primary healthcare centres into wellness centres – 18,000 conversion in this financial year will begin with Jaangla, NITI member (health) Vinod Paul said.

Primary healthcare will move from its current focus on neonatal care and communicable diseases to expand and include several other diseases and illnesses.

Wellness centres will be equipped to offer medical services in non-communicable diseases, mental health, oral health, ENT related ailments, ophthalmology, geriatrics and common diagnostics. Paul said the emphasis will be on early detection of diseases to improve the overall state of health of the population covered by the programme. These centres will be managed by mid-level service providers who are trained nurses or AYUSH doctors after being trained for six months each in running the centres.

“Doctors will be the first referral point in this system which is designed on the lines of United Kingdom’s National Health Service except that it starts at the level of the mid level service provider,” Dr Paul said.

The wellness centres will also have the facility of tele-consultation with specialists at the primary and the tertiary care level while acting as medicine disbursement centres for patients living in the area serviced by these centres, even if they are being treated by a hospital. “The wellness centres will also have facilities for screening non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and three types of cancers: oral, breast and cervical,” Dr Manohar Agnani, joint secretary in the ministry of health and family welfare, said.