Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Promises to Increase Healthcare Budget if Voted to Power
Raipur: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet scheme Ayushman Bharat Yojana and said that the required network of hospitals for its proper implementation was not present in states. He promised that if the Congress is voted to power, it would increase the expenditure on healthcare to about 3 per cent of the GDP.
Addressing a function on universal healthcare organised by a volunteer group in Raipur on Friday, Gandhi said Ayushman Bharat focused on a limited number of people and only helps a chosen 15-20 private players make huge amount of money.
Slamming the BJP for excessive privatisation, Gandhi said he is not an advocate of rampant privatisation in sectors including healthcare and education. “Solutions can’t come all the time from selected 20-30 individuals as we need to take along all the stakeholders.”
“What I have managed to understand is that a new medical network is to be built in all the states to extend healthcare benefits.”
Once we come to power, we are considering a Right to Healthcare Act for ensuring minimum healthcare to all and wish to enhance expenditure on healthcare 3 per cent of the total GDP and increasing the number of healthcare professionals drastically, said Gandhi.
While attacking the present scheme, the Congress president claimed the government was offering the insurance but the medical network including hospitals, professionals and insurers were not equipped enough to extend benefits to the public.
Underlining the importance of the private sector, he said the primary responsibility lies on the government. “Each and every sector has its role to play in healthcare.”
The Congress chief, who was addressing healthcare professionals, said insurance contracts should also be looked into. He drew an example from agriculture sector where he said the insurers don’t have to compete with each other as they are offered a certain region where their business is unchallenged.
“There has been a terrible failure in basic needs including education and healthcare because of the BJP and RSS way of looking at the development,” said Gandhi, who lauded healthcare sector innovations from Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Being asked about weaker sections like tribals not getting benefits of government schemes, the Congress president said this is because they are not as organised as others so their voices are not heard properly. “So I have told all my CMs that we need to do a lot listening to understand public’s issues and problems.”
Later speaking to the media, Gandhi claimed the Modi government has failed miserably three prominent issues including unemployment, corruption and farmers’ issues. PM Narendra Modi talked of farmers daily in five years but did not waive off their loans and also snatched their bonus while we waived off their farm loans in two days.