Karaikudi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Monday 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
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
"That is the justification for encouraging the private
hospitals system," Singh said emphasising 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 PC Reddy of
Apollo Hospitals and AM Arun of the Vasan Group for bringing
the best medical facilities to rural areas.