President urges medicos to serve in villages


Mumbai : President Pratibha Patil Tuesday said the success of government health schemes would depend on doctors’ willingness to serve in rural areas and urged the medical fraternity to send more interns to the villages.

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“The medical students can help in the creation of health workers in villages by giving them training on basic medical skills and first-aid treatment,” Patil said.

Inaugurating the D.Y. Patil Medical College & IVF Centre building in Nerul suburb of Navi Mumbai, the president said 75 percent of the medical facilities are located in urban areas while 70 percent of the population lives in villages where medical facilities are limited.

Accordingly, she said it was necessary to make a national effort to sensitize doctors and provide healthcare for all and not just to the urban population.

Emphasising the need to increase the number of institutions imparting quality medical education in India, Patil said while the country has 271 medical colleges churning out 31,000 medical graduates annually, the number remains inadequate in terms of doctor-to-patient ratio.

Expressing concern at the country’s extremely low patient-to-doctor ratio in global comparison, Patil said at present India has only one doctor for every 2,000 people against theratio of 4.6 per 2,000 people in the US.

Towards this end, she called upon the Medical Council of India (MCI) and medical educators to implement an updated regulatory framework for ensuring accountable functioning of medical institutions.

President Patil said the demand for medical education in India is so high and Indian students are attending medical institutions in Russia and China in large numbers.

The parameters of establishing institutions must be clearly defined by the MCI and the growth of such medical institutions must be regulated so that the best education is made available to medical students.

The president also called for keeping medical system abreast with the advances in bio-medical sciences by incorporating reliable, new and most sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

At the same time, the country must encourage research in fields like nanotechnology, stem cells and artificial intelligence which hold great potential for alleviating human suffering.

While equipping students with world-class knowledge and skills, the education must also imbibe in students the values of humanism, tolerance, harmony and truth.

“It is an education that can enlighten and build a progressive nation,” President Patil said.

Also present on the occasion were Maharashtra Governor S.C Jamir, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, leading academicians and prominent citizens.