Rajam (Andhra Pradesh): Urging the corporate houses in the country to fulfill their social responsibility, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that they should create quality healthcare facilities for the people.

There was a big gap between the need and availability of quality medicines for rural and urban population though the central and state governments were making their best efforts to improve the health sector, he said.

“Corporate houses should come forward and extend a helping hand to the government in improving health infrastructure and provide quality medicines. In the process, they will also fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) duties,” maintained Mukherjee.

The minister was speaking after inaugurating a 135-bed hospital, Varalakshmi Care Hospital, constructed by GMR Group.

He complimented the GMR Group for constructing the hospital, which will cater to the health needs of Rajam, a small town, its surrounding villages and also nearby Bhubaneswar.

The Centre, states and corporate houses should work jointly to provide quality healthcare to the people, Mukherjee said, and cited the charity work done by the US-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To reap the demographic dividend, the working age population should be equipped with professional skills, the minister added.