Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on May 18 expressed concern over the lack of medical facilities in rural areas and urged the private sector to supplement the government’s efforts in bridging the urban-rural divide and adopting a philanthropic approach to make healthcare affordable. Ruing the shortage of doctors and paramedical personnel in the country, he suggested that it should be made mandatory for MBBS graduates to serve in rural areas before first promotion is granted to them.
“The private sector must not only supplement the efforts of the government in bridging the urban-rural divide in the health sector but adopt a more humane and philanthropic approach, ensuring that healthcare is affordable and accessible,” Naidu said. He was speaking at the convocation ceremony of Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).
Naidu said India’s health sector was facing the twin burdens of communicable and non-communicable diseases and he called upon public health experts, healthcare professionals, local bodies and communities to join hands in promoting hygiene and sanitation in a big way to build ‘Swachh Bharat’.
“Although polio, tetanus and smallpox have been successfully eliminated, diseases such as TB, malaria, chikungunya and dengue are still prevalent. Also, a lot more efforts are needed to further bring down IMR and MMR indices across the country,” he said.
Referring to the recent cases of rape of minors, Naidu advocated for cleanliness of the mind and stressed on the need to change the people’s mindset. He also urged faculty members to not merely impart medical knowledge and skills to students but also mould their young minds into those of conscientious citizens with uncompromising integrity, high morals and ethical standards.
“This is all the more important in the present times when the image of the medical profession has been dented by the perception that it has become highly commercialised,” he said.
Naidu said India was lagging behind several countries in research output and urged the medical college to accord highest priority to it.