Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today said the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission would help in the fight against the pandemic-like situation in the future.
He said COVID-19 had allowed improving the health infrastructure in the country, and the government has launched PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission with an investment of 64 thousand crore rupees.
For the treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes and check-up at the primary level, he said the government decided to set up 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres. About 79 thousand such centres have started in the country.
Under the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, an entire ecosystem for services from treatment to critical research will be created in every corner of the country.
The aim is to strengthen the critical health care network from village to block to the district to the regional and national level in the next four to five years. Under the scheme, Health and Wellness Centers will be opened in villages and cities, where there will be facilities for the early detection of diseases.
Facilities like free medical consultation, free tests, free medicine will be available in these centres. For serious illness, 35 thousand new critical care-related beds are being added in 600 districts, and referral facilities will be given in 125 districts.
The second aspect of the scheme is related to the testing network for the diagnosis of diseases. Under this mission, the necessary infrastructure will be developed for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases.
730 districts of the country will get Integrated Public Health Labs, and three thousand blocks will get Block Public Health Units. Apart from that, five Regional National Centres for Disease Control, 20 Metropolitan Units, and 15 BSL labs will further strengthen this network.
The Third aspect is the expansion of existing research institutions that study pandemics. The existing 80 Viral Diagnostic and Research Labs will be strengthened, 15 Biosafety Level Labs will be operationalised, four new National Institutes of Virology and a National Institute for One Health will be established. WHO Regional Research Platform for South Asia will also strengthen this network.
Replying to a media query, the Minister said a team is investigating the new COVID-19 variant AY.4.2. ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyse the different variants.