Karaikudi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said private hospitals have an obligation to provide health care at an affordable cost and asked them to supplement government`s efforts in reaching medical facilities to the people.
The government`s aim was to provide good medical care at affordable cost to the people and in the public hospitals system, medical care was catered almost entirely free. But given the vastness of the country and large population, its efforts need to be supplemented by the private sector, Prime Minister said.
"That is the justification for encouraging the private hospitals system," Singh said emphasizing that private hospitals have an obligation to provide medical care at an affordable cost to the people.
Inaugurating Apollo Reach rpt Reach Hospital and the Vasan Eye Care and Research Institute here in Union Home Minister P Chidambaram`s Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, he said: "It is also their (private sector) social obligation to provide free medical care to some of the very poor."
Listing out measures taken by the Centre in the health care sector, he said the National Rural Health Mission was one of government`s flagship programmes.
An amount of about Rs 63,000 crore had been released to states under the mission in the last six years till March this year adding over 1.4 lakh, personnel including doctors, nurses and para-medics to the health system, he said.
"We have supported the construction of several thousand district and sub-district hospitals, primary health centres and sub-centres. Over eight lakh health assistants – called ASHAs -- have been trained and deployed throughout rural India," Singh said.
The Prime Minister also lauded the efforts of P C Reddy of Apollo Hospitals and A M Arun of the Vasan Group for bringing the best medical facilities to rural areas.