As 509 students graduated on the 41st convocation of AIIMS on Thursday,Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad announced fast-tracking of several projects,including two new AIIMS-like institutions,the first in Congress president Sonia Gandhis constituency Rae Bareli and the second at Raiganj in North Bengal.
Work on AIIMS at Rae Bareli will soon start,and identifying land for AIIMS at Raiganj in North Bengal is under way, Azad said,adding the second batch of MBBS students had just been admitted to each of the six AIIMS-like institutions in Bhopal,Bhubaneswar,Jodhpur,Patna,Raipur and Rishikesh each with 960 beds which include 500 in specialties,300 in super-specialties and 100 ICU and Trauma beds.
Stating that undergaduate seats in medicine in India have increased by 55 per cent and the PG seats by 75 per cent,Azad pointed out the contribution of Indian doctors in other countries.
More than 81,000 doctors of Indian origin practice in USA and over 70,000 in UK. We are providing human resources for not only our own country,but many developed countries through our medical institutions in government and private sectors.
Reiterating government focus on tackling non-communicable diseases,Azad announced 20 new standalone state cancer institutes,and 23 new tertiary cancer centres,and strengthening of 27 existing regional cancer care centres.
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan told the fresh graduates,Like many other countries,Indian healthcare is doctor-centric,and there is huge shortage of doctors here. I am pleased because I asked some young graduates if they would stay and serve in India,and they said yes, Chan said.
Never forget your humanity or humanity of your patients. Remember they are people, she added.
Highlighting high health expenditure being a barrier for the poor,Dr Chan said,Remember,in medicines and interventions you prescribe,no patient be lost to follow-ups because of his or her inability to pay for treatment.
509 were awarded degrees,including 176 in post-graduate disciplines,85 in super-specialties,50 in MBBS,84 in nursing,and 16 in other paramedical professions.
The huge volume of patients forced us to compromise on some priorities,affecting academic and research activities,AIIMS director Dr RC Deka said. He hoped with setting up of new medical colleges including AIIMS-like institutes,AIIMS would be able to serve as a referral healthcare institute of excellence and foster higher academics and research.