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‘Healthy population more receptive to improvements’


New Delhi, May 1  (IANS) A healthy population will be more receptive to programmes and initiatives aimed at improving its education, food security and employment opportunities, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday.

"A strong and fit population can more easily be motivated and steered to realise the nation’s goals. A vibrant society, free from disease and malaise, naturally has better prospects for progress and development," Mukherjee said while releasing a commemorative postage stamp on Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. The hospital was commissioned on april 30, 1964 by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The president said a successful healthcare system should be comprehensive in terms of its quality, availability and affordability. "In India, extending the government’s health coverage has always been a priority," he said.

The National Rural Health Mission was conceived to take healthcare to the doorsteps of the rural population through a network of sub-centres and primary as well as community health centres.

Mukherjee said sound initiatives by people in recent years have brought about a silent revolution in some areas of healthcare.

"To take our health sector further towards self-sufficiency, we must encourage every effort in innovation, development of indigenous technologies and formulations that are better suited to our population and climate," he said.

The president said public expenditure on healthcare in India (at just 1.2 per cent of our gross domestic product) is much lower than that in many developed countries.

"Our efforts in expansion of our healthcare and medical education infrastructure must be sustained and intensified. The establishment of six additional institutes on the model of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is a good step in the right direction," said Mukherjee.

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