AHMEDABAD: Vishwa Hindu Parishad ( VHP ) international working president Pravin Togadia today launched a helpline number here which aims to provide free medical consultancy for the poor .
Through the helpline, VHP also intends to provide “cheap” treatment to poor who are unable to afford private medical treatment.
Togadia said health sector in the country was being neglected by successive governments which has caused deterioration of health of its citizens.
“India’s health is in serious condition, and people need to be admitted to (the) intensive care unit. India was once a land of healthy people, now it has become a land of (the) diseased. Our effort (through this health helpline) is to again make the country a land of healthy people,” Togadia said.
The helpline, called ‘India Health Line’ launched by VHP, will begin in Gujarat from tomorrow and is being scaled up to cover the entire country with the aim to help poor persons who cannot afford costly private medical treatment, he added.
“In India, 2.5 lakh people committed suicide in 2012, which shows the condition of our mental health. In India, 50 lakh people attempted suicide in the same year. Psychiatrists say that one out of five Indian is mentally ill in some way or the other,” he said.
“Here, 45 crore patients spend Rs 14 lakh crore annually on treatment, which will become Rs 280 lakh crore in another 20 years. People spending so much on health will finish Indian economy , so forget dreaming about becoming the world power,” he said.
Togadia also said India’s budget on health is less than 1 per cent of GDP, lower than neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“Here, 71 per cent service is being offered by private doctors, and that is because our government did not develop medical services,” he added.
Togadia, who is the brainchild behind the programme, said the service is aimed at 45 crore Indian poor who earn less than Rs 100 in a day and cannot afford to spend Rs 500 on private medical treatment.
Under the programme, doctors including private practitioners have been roped in to serve the poor and needy patients by providing free consulting and discounted treatment.
People can call help line–1860-2333-666–following which the team of dedicated workers will get them in touch with doctors in the area.
Nationally, thousands of specialist doctors have become associated with the programme, Togadia said.
The VHP president also said a team of “health ambassadors” is being formed who will provide free medical check up by approaching people door to door.