Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that there is a need to create health coverage schemes that provide widest coverage to the young, aged and infirm and those suffering from both critical acute and chronic ailments. He was addressing the gathering after launching the Atal Amrit Abhiyan by Assam Government, which seeks to provide access to quality medical care to 3.2 crore people, in Guwahati, Assam today. The Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagadish Mukhi, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, the Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President called on the private sector to supplement the efforts of the government in a big way in reaching out medical care to the people in rural areas. He further said that quality of health services should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services. People should be protected against financial-risk, ensuring that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm, he added.

The Vice President said that modern day lifestyle is leading to various non-communicable diseases and said that efforts are needed to arrest the growing incidence of such disease which is affecting even the young.  There has to be concerted efforts from all stakeholders in healthcare to raise awareness among the people on the dangers of leading sedentary lifestyles, eating junk food, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to change school curriculum include lessons on NCDs and physical exercises should be made mandatory for school and college students. Wherever possible, yoga asanas should also be taught to children, he added.

The Vice President said that north-eastern States like the rest of India are facing shortage of medical manpower and medical facilities in rural areas. This shortage has to be bridged by opening more medical colleges and setting up more number of healthcare facilities in the rural places, he added.

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