(FASTMAIL) -The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasised the need to urgently address the problem of manpower shortage in the medical profession. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for expansion of our health infrastructure at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
Interacting with medical students and faculty after inaugurating new units and state-of-the art equipment at Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, the Vice President expressed his happiness that India is on the path to achieve the WHO-recommended ratio of one doctor per 1,000 people by 2024. He also appreciated the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission which seeks to strengthen the critical healthcare network from village to the national level in the next four to five years.
Ruing that the medical profession has become increasingly commercialized over the years, he advised the budding medical graduates to lend a human touch while treating their patients. “Medical profession is one of the noblest professions and all of you should always remain committed to the Hippocrates Oath. Never deviate from the righteous path and maintain the highest ethical and moral standards,” he said.
Stressing the need to fully leverage India’s strength in the IT sector, Shri Naidu called for promoting public-private partnership (PPP) in different areas, including establishing telemedicine connectivity to remote rural areas. Telemedicine will help in reducing costs and improving access in rural India, he opined and expressed confidence that the recently launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would help in creating the necessary ecosystem for delivering an efficient and inclusive universal health coverage.
In view of the shortage of manpower in the rural areas, the Vice President suggested making rural service mandatory before giving the first promotion to government doctors. He also recognized the need to attract more doctors to the rural areas by providing incentives and improving housing and other infrastructure.
Expressing concern over the high levels of out-of-pocket expenditure on health, Shri Naidu emphasised the need to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all. In this regard, he underlined the need to increase public spending on the health sector. “At the same time, I would urge the private players in the health sector to join hands with the government in providing affordable state-of-the-art treatment modalities to the people,” he added.
Referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Shri Naidu asked the medical fraternity to be ready to tackle any such disease/epidemic in future by increasing their focus on research on emerging diseases. He commended the doctors, scientists and all the frontline workers for their dedication and selfless service to save lives and prevent the spread of COVID-19 transmission. The Vice President also complimented the Union Government and various states for administering more than 105 crore vaccine doses till now. On this occasion, he also inaugurated a medical oxygen plant (1200 LPM PSA), Biomedical Equipment, Unit of Cardiac Sciences andUnit of Neuro Sciences at the college.
Expressing happiness over the rise in economic activity post COVID, he cautioned everyone to remain on guard and continue to adhere to COVID-related protocols till the situation returns to complete normalcy. “We cannot act recklessly and invite another wave. I am sure that as those associated with the medical profession, all of you will create greater awareness on this issue among the people,” he said.
Drawing attention to the worrisome trend of rapid increase in Non-Communicable Diseases, he called for concerted effort by all stakeholders to arrest the trend of growing NCDs. He advised the young medical professionals to not only adopt a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but motivate others too.
Fondly remembering his long association with the city of Vijayawada, Shri Naidu said that he always looks forward to visiting this vibrant city.On this occasion, he also highlighted the importance of protection and propagation of mother tongue in our lives.
Responding to a student’s question on leadership qualities, the Vice President said that one must aspire to become a ‘sensitive’ leader and not a ‘sensational’ leader. “A doctor, a nurse and a farmer can also be a great leader in their own right,” he said and listed integrity and high moral standards as important attributes of a true leader.
Stating that in ancient times, India was known as ‘Vishwa Guru’,the Vice President said that India is rising again to regain that past glory. He exhorted the students to commit themselves to the cause of nation building and “aim high, dream big and work hard to become successful in life.”
Shri N.Venkateswarlu President, SidharthaAcadamy, Dr. Nageswara Rao , DG, PSIMS, Dr P Lakshman Rao, Secratery, SidhrathaAcadamy, Dr PSN Murthy, Prinicipal, PSIMS, people’s representatives from the area, faculty and students were among those present on the occasion.