Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), an organisation of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) led Sangh Parivar, launched a toll-free medical helpline, India Health Line, in Gujarat. VHP expects the helpline to act as a bridge between doctors and the financially poor sections of the society to bring free medical help to them.

The organisation said that any person from India may call on the toll-free number 1860-2333666 to get volunteers connect them to doctors providing free medical help in their respective areas.

Dr Pravin Togadia, VHP’s international president, said while launching the Gujarat chapter of the helpline in Ahmedabad, “India was once known as a country of healthy people. But according to WHO (World Health Organization), India will soon be the disease capital of the world given the rapid increase of diabetes, blood pressure and psychological disorders in the country.

In India, 40 crore people are suffering from one or another disease because they cannot afford medical help.

Most deaths also happen due to lack of awareness about good health.”
 Speaking to those gathered at the helpline launch event, Togadia said, “IHL aims to create a network of one lakh doctors in the country, who will be available to help the needy.”
 Pointing out the low amounts of money governments in Centre and the state spend on healthcare, Togadia said, “While the developed world spends 6% to 8% of their GDP, and countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka spend around 2.5 % of GDP, India spends less than 1% of GDP on health. Union and state governments need to increase spending on preventive healthcare.”