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Trained manpower, additional capacity and better technologies needed for healthcare sector: Nirmala Sitharaman

Speaking at a virtual event on Building healthcare infrastructure for new India, Sitharaman said that the government is constantly discussing and engaging with the stakeholders to ensure that the revival of the economy is adequately supported.

August 31, 2021 / 06:38 PM IST
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Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the healthcare sector in India needs more trained manpower, additional health capacity and better technologies to tackle a possible third wave or other such medical exigencies that many arrive in future.

Speaking at a virtual event on Building healthcare infrastructure for new India, Sitharaman said that the government is constantly discussing and engaging with the stakeholders to ensure that the revival of the economy is  adequately supported.

Emphasising on the support needed for the healthcare system Sitharaman said that the healthcare sector had to function at its best during the peak in COVID-19 cases.

Sitharaman noted that the health infrastructure particularly in the smaller towns, cities and rural areas needs to be supported as it would take better healthcare facilities to even the most remote parts and also ease the burden on the hospitals operating in the metropolitan cities.

Commenting on the Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID-19 Affected Sectors (LGSCAS), she said that the scheme covers about 70 percent of the requirements needed in order  to tackle a possible third wave.

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The Union cabinet on June 30 approved the LGSCAS thus enabling funding to the tune of Rs 50,000 crores to provide financial guarantee cover for brownfield expansion and greenfield projects related to health and medical infrastructure.

The proposed LGSCAS scheme is aimed at boosting medical infrastructure in the country, specifically targeting underserved areas. The scheme would provide a guarantee of 50 percent for brownfield projects and 75 percent to greenfield projects

The move came in the wake of disruptions caused by the second wave of the pandemic which overwhelmed India's healthcare system.

"The LGSCAS has been formulated as a specific response to an exceptional situation the country has witnessed due to lack of adequate health infrastructure in the light of second wave of COVID-19. The approved scheme is expected to help the country in shoring up its much-needed healthcare infrastructure along with creating more employment opportunities. The main objective of LGSCAS is to partially mitigate credit risk (primarily construction risk) and facilitate bank credit at lower rates of interest," the government said in a statement," the government had said in a statement.

Also speaking at the virtual event, VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog emphasised on the need for creating additional health infrastructure. He noted that presently, India has 1 bed per 1000 population. He noted that India must increase it to 2 beds per 1000 population with both private and public health infrastructure put together.

Partnership for secondary and tertiary care between public and private,  is a given. And we need to move in that direction,” he said.

Paul also noted that apart from ramping up the physical infrastructure, both the government and the private sector must also focus on increasing the human resource availability.
Shreeja Singh
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