Public Health Centres to be strengthened, says Nadda

On the occasion of World Health Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was leaving no stone unturned in providing quality healthcare that was accessible and affordable.

The Health Ministry had launched free drugs and diagnostics initiative to make healthcare affordable while undertaking a universal health screening in 100 districts for hypertension, diabetes and breast, cervical and oral cancers.

Speaking to the press, J.P. Nadda, Union Health Minister, said, “We will strengthen Public Health Centres and around one lakh sub centres will be transformed into wellness centres, 2,500 have already been selected for a pilot.”

The World Health Organisation is focussing on depression this year to raise awareness on World Health Day. According to WHO, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people (between 20-40 age-group) in India along with adolescents (15-19 years).

Mental Healthcare Bill

India recently passed the long-awaited Mental Healthcare Bill, decriminalising suicide and guaranteeing the rights to better healthcare for people with mental illness. Calling it a ‘happy coincidence’, Mr. Nadda said the passing of the Mental Healthcare Bill was so closely followed by the celebration of the World Health Day, themed on depression, that it should help in increasing awareness and reducing stigma associated with mental health.

“We are witnessing a historic event in the healthcare sector of our country. Decriminalisation of suicide is another significant facet of the Bill, which will ensure proper management of severe stress as a precursor for suicide attempts,” Mr. Nadda said.

The Bill also has the provision of a special clause for women and children related to admission, treatment, sanitation and personal hygiene; restriction on use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy. Mr. Nadda said the Ministry aimed to establish more institutions such as NIMHANS.

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