Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Ayushman Bharat programme, announced by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in Budget 2018, will take the lead in providing quality and affordable healthcare and that his government is working towards building medical colleges and providing farmers with better access to markets.

“There is so much work to do in the health sector. One aspect is human resource development, the other is infrastructure, and there is also a need to use modern technology in the sector,” he said while inaugurating various projects including the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre and the new civil secretariat in Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar.

“We are working towards building medical colleges in all parts of the nation. This is because, when one studies in a particular area, one becomes better acquainted with the local health challenges,” the Prime Minister said. “The health sector needs special attention. Healthcare has to be of good quality and it must be affordable. Stents were exorbitantly priced. We brought the prices down so that the poor and middle-class families benefit.”

Modi said the new Arunachal civil secretariat houses most of the key departments, making it easier for people who come from distant villages. “Everything is in one place. Coordination and convenience are enhanced,” he said.

“I am personally going to tell the people to go to Arunachal Pradesh and hold your important meetings at the convention centre… Why should meetings only be held in the national capital? We must go to all states, and that is why I came to Shillong for a north-eastern council meeting and an important meeting related to agriculture was held in Sikkim,” Modi said.