Prime Minister Narendra Modi today slammed the previous Congress-led UPA over the state of healthcare sector in the country, alleging that it had failed to bring a health policy during its 10-year rule.
He also said that the previous government did not pay attention to increasing the number of seats in medical colleges.
"The last health policy was announced during Atalji's (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) regime around 15 years back. After that, such a government assumed power which used to hate development. It did not have any empathy for the people," Modi said.
"As a result, a new health policy was introduced after almost 15 years by our government," he said addressing a gathering after inaugurating a medical college here in his hometown.
The prime minister also criticised the earlier government over the issue of seats in medical colleges which, according to him, were much less than the requirement of doctors in the country.
"Due to the rules formulated by the past governments, very few students were able to secure admission in the medical colleges. Thus, we have taken up the task of opening one medical college for (every) three to four Lok Sabha constituencies across the country," Modi said.
"Since we also need good professors for such colleges, we have also increased 6,000 seats in PG medical courses in the last one year. Though some people criticised the move, we remained firm because we understand that we will need good professors for producing good doctors," he said.
The prime minister said due to the relentless efforts of his government, the prices of stents as well as medicines have drastically reduced.
"The prices of stents were around Rs 1.5 lakh to almost Rs 2 lakh (each). Someone would get a heart attack by just hearing such a high price. We then called the manufacturers and asked them not to rob the poor by charging such high price. Today, the stents are available at just 40 per cent of the original price," he said.
"Similarly, we were also concerned about the prices of medicines. That is why we have started a mission to sell generic medicines at subsidised rates," Modi said.