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'Expect Good, Clean Hospitals & Zero Corruption'

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Preventive healthcare, including national awareness programmes promoting healthy lifestyle will get more focus under the Modi government, according to Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister. 
 
“The priority would be to emphasise prevention over cure in India’s National Health Policy”, the minister points out.
 
Speaking to the media after taking charge on Tuesday (27 May) afternoon, Dr Vardhan said the government would address the growing menace of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, occupational diseases and ailments through preventive care programmes. “The problem of over consumption of fast foods, trans-fat food etc is assuming menacing proportion among the young. This must be checked through medical as well as multi-media offensives”, the minister says. 
 
The ministry is planning to evolve an action plan and consult the state governments on how they could contribute to a campaign to promote safe, nutritious and locally available foods. Promoting yoga and physical exercises is also there on Dr Vardhan’s agenda. 
 
The minister also stressed the need for a national health insurance policy to bring every citizen under the health cover. “In health insurance, we have lots to learn from micro-health insurance instruments developed by NGOs, self help groups and small private entities. The Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojna is working fine in some states, but is limited to BPL families. I plan to rope in all economic groups and make the health ministry some kind of regulatory body for oversight on the existing micro-health insurance programmes”, the minister said. 
 
In the coming weeks, Dr Vardhan has planned a series of meetings with bureaucrats within his ministry to work on his agenda. “Expect good, clean hospitals and zero corruption”, Dr Vardhan says. 
 
A senior health ministry official said that the previous government had also worked out plans for national wide preventive health programmes. “It’s all planned.  What we did not have was sufficient funds to roll out the programmes. No money was sanctioned for several programme for the last one year. If funds are made available, the implementation can begin now”, he pointed out, adding that the programmes could be tweaked keeping in mind the ideas the new minister might have. 
 
Dr Vardhan has been a founding leader and the national convenor of the doctors’ cell of BJP.