RAIPUR: On Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said his party is considering inclusion of a Right to Healthcare Act promise in its manifesto for the ensuing Lok Sabha election to guarantee minimum healthcare to all. Mr Gandhi also criticised the Ayushman Bharat flagship health scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and termed the programme as a handout to 15-20 select businessmen of the country.
However, He was interacting with medical professionals during the concluding session of the two day national convention on Health for all organised by an NGO. Mr Gandhi said answering a question from the professionals "In our manifesto, we are considering three things: Including Right to Healthcare Act by which we can guarantee a certain minimum healthcare to all Indians; increasing our healthcare expenditure to 3 per cent of the GDP and increasing the number of doctors and healthcare professionals.”
Mr Gandhi also asserted that if his party is elected to power in the 2019 general elections, its focus will be on increasing expenditure on healthcare and education. He said "India is transitioning from a rural system to urban system. There is a massive shifting taking place and it is a painful shift. It is not an easy shift, it is a traumatic shift,".
Mr Gandhi said there are three things that any government in the 21st century has to do to protect Indias citizens. "First we have to fix unemployment problem and second is we have to give low cost high-quality education. The third thing is that we have to ensure better healthcare system, he said. He said that is how he views the Ayushman Bharat scheme. "I see it as a limited scheme that is targeting very limited number of healthcare issues. If I want to be frank it is a handout to the 15-20 richest businessmen in India. That is not the type of scheme we are going to put in, he said.
We are not going to put money in waste that allows limited number of people to make massive amount of money, he said. Mr Gandhi attributed the ''dramatic failure'' on education and healthcare front to the disparity in the way the BJP and RSS think about development.