Agricultural Credit Societies double up as Aushadhi Kendras to facilitate affordable healthcare


At the National Mega Conclave on “PACS as Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra,” emphasis was placed on the crucial role of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in expanding affordable healthcare access. Led by discussions from Shri Amit Shah, Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation, and Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers & Health and Family Welfare, the event highlighted major initiatives by the Ministry of Cooperation. This included the recent expansion of PACS’ scope, allowing them to establish Jan Aushadhi Kendras, extending beyond their traditional role in agricultural credits. The conclave, held under the theme “Sahakar – se – Samriddhi,” brought attention to the significant strides made in reshaping PACS for a broader societal impact.

Shri Amit Shah emphasized that the decision to allow PACS to open Jan Aushadhi Kendras would not only benefit cooperative societies but also extend to the lowest strata of the community. Over the past nine years, approximately Rs. 26,000 crores of savings for the economically disadvantaged have been realized through Jan Aushadhi Kendras. Shah highlighted that generic medicines, available at 50-90% of market prices in these centers, play a crucial role in ensuring affordable healthcare.

Drawing attention to various government initiatives, including Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Jal Jeevan Mission, Digital Health, Malaria Elimination Mission, and TB Mukt Bharat Initiative, Shah underlined the transformative impact on the healthcare landscape. Additionally, the expansion of the Jan Aushadhi Kendra network and the availability of diverse high-quality medicines have substantially reduced over-the-counter medication costs.

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya announced plans to open 2,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras through PACS in the first phase, with more than 2,300 applications already approved. He stressed that this initiative would not only strengthen PACS as a cooperative organization but also expand the accessibility of quality and affordable medicines across the country.

The Union Ministers presented symbolic certificates of store codes to representatives from PACS in Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Participants expressed satisfaction with the policies for PACS implementation and shared their experiences under the newly adopted model byelaws.

The event witnessed the presence of Shri B L Verma, Minister of State, Ministry of Cooperation; Shri Gyanesh Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation; Shri Arunish Chawla, Secretary, Dept. of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers; and senior officials from the Union Government, as well as representatives of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana and PACS from across the country.

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