Highlighting the health gaps in the country while speaking at the 45th convocation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), President Ram Nath Kovind said it is not for medical science to “profiteer” from society and asked the graduating doctors to give back to those who are less fortunate.
“This institution is the national centre of excellence. You have joined an illustrious list of medical graduates and postgraduates from AIIMS. As you go into the world, a world that needs your services more than ever before, please remember that you need to give back to society. It is true that you need to be legitimately rewarded for your academic excellence, your medical skills and your expertise. Yet, as doctors, your services must be available both to those who can afford your fees and also to those who are less fortunate and cannot afford (it). It is for society to profit from medical science, it is not for medical science to profiteer from society,” Kovind said.
The President also expressed concern over the “highly inadequate” number of medical education seats in the country and said various regulatory impediments that had prevented growth would have to be overcome.
“Currently, our medical colleges have only 67,000 undergraduate seats and 31,000 postgraduate seats. In a country of 1.3 billion people, this is highly inadequate. We have to overcome the regulatory bottlenecks and interest groups that have prevented the growth of quality medical education in the country,” Kovind said.
He lauded the students and faculty of AIIMS, saying that the institute has become “a byword for quality, commitment and rich experience”. However, Kovind added, “Despite our progress, gaps remain. Indian companies are among the world’s biggest manufacturers of vaccines and these vaccines are supplied across the globe. Even then, our own immunisation record remains below desirable levels.”