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India gives 42 out of 90 medicines for Cancer at cheapest rates: Minister
9/28/2023 10:43:00 PM

New Delhi, Sept 28: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said of the 90 medicines for cancer, India gives out 42 at the cheapest rates.
He was speaking at the inauguration of "Sanjeevani: United Against Cancer", a joint initiative of the Federal Bank Hormis Memorial Foundation, News18 Network and Tata Trusts. "We are increasing (the number of) cancer hospitals and tertiary care facilities. Our approach towards the health sector is holistic. We have increased (the number of) MBBS and post-graduate medical seats and colleges, and created medical educational resources. The Ayushman Bharat health infrastructure mission is working towards it. We launched the pharma policy on Tuesday. We are the pharmacy of the world in generic medicines," Mr Mandaviya said.
Health can never be a political subject nor commercial, he said, adding that it is "seva" (service) for India.
"With time, the pattern of diseases changes. It is important to have a holistic approach towards the sector. Health can never be a political subject. We merged health with development from 2014. Not as a token, but a total gesture. Instead of just opening dispensaries, we focused on making health services accessible to all," the minister said.
The country belongs to all its citizens and the responsibility for its well-being lies with each individual, he said, adding, "It was this shared responsibility and collective effort that enabled the nation to effectively combat the challenges posed by COVID-19." The primary goal of "Sanjeevani" is to promote awareness, foster discussions about the silent cancer epidemic and address the common fears associated with the disease, he noted.
"The Sanjeevani initiative will lead to discussions and deliberations. Send a note on it to us, so we can track the suggestions coming from people. The (Narendra) Modi government believes in stakeholder consultation. Public partnership is integral to India's health model. Share your ideas with us, so we can fight the diseases," the minister said.
He acknowledged the crucial role played by the country's 10 lakh "ASHA behen", each serving a population of 1,000, and highlighted their role in collecting vital healthcare information through family visits.
Mandaviya discussed the government's approach to cancer care, emphasising health and wellness screenings at district-level hospitals and fee waivers for impoverished patients. He noted that cancer medicines are available at non-profit prices due to India's fixed trade margin, with a focus on making healthcare more affordable and accessible.
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