Ram Nath Kovind says medical seats 'highly inadequate' in India, demands more opportunities for aspiring doctors

Expressing a serious concern over the 'highly inadequate' number of medical education seats in the country, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said various regulatory impediments that had prevented the growth would have to be overcome.

PTI January 16, 2018 17:45:22 IST
Ram Nath Kovind says medical seats 'highly inadequate' in India, demands more opportunities for aspiring doctors

New Delhi: Expressing a serious concern over the "highly inadequate" number of medical education seats in the country, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said various regulatory impediments that had prevented the growth would have to be overcome.

He said this while addressing the 45th convocation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Ram Nath Kovind says medical seats highly inadequate in India demands more opportunities for aspiring doctors

File image of President Ram Nath Kovind. Reuters

Kovind, who talked at length about the "gaps" that remained between a good healthcare system and the population of the country, said that in the absence of the stipulated number of doctors, the workload on the existing ones was "very high" and that this situation needed to be addressed "very urgently".

"I would say unrealistically high," he said, referring to the pressure on a doctor in the country.

"I recognise that I am placing a big responsibility on the capable shoulders of our doctors. I acknowledge that our doctors need help. They need help in the form of more colleagues and this is where we need a new regulatory system to enhance the availability of doctors and medical professionals in our society," the president added.

He pointed out that the medical colleges, run by the government or private entities, had about 67,000 undergraduate seats and 31,000 post-graduate seats currently and said, "In a country of 1.3 billion people, this is highly inadequate."

The country had to overcome the "regulatory bottlenecks" and "interest groups" that had prevented the growth of a quality medical education, Kovind added.

"This gives us far fewer medical graduates and post-graduates every year than our people need. It also leads to aspiring medical students seeking admission in colleges in other countries, simply because they have limited options at home," he said and added that such a situation was "simply not acceptable".

"We need to address this situation very urgently. We need to create more opportunities for those young people who want to make medicine their calling," the president said.

He lauded the students and faculty of the premier medical institute, saying that the AIIMS had become "a byword for quality, commitment and a rich experience".

"The faculty and doctors, as well as, of course, the students, are the pride of our medical fraternity and our nation. I must compliment every member of the AIIMS family for keeping up these exceptional standards, despite very difficult circumstances," the president said.

He told the students that their services were needed by the world more than ever before and reminded them that they needed "give back to the 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 (the fees)," he said.

A disease did not distinguish between the rich and poor but unfortunately, the poor suffered the most, the president said, adding that it was for the society to profit from medical science and "not for medical science to profiteer from the society".

"The patients and their families have a great trust in you and they see you as next to god. It is upon you to ensure that the trust is given the due respect and that you treat them with care and compassion," he told the graduating students.

Kovind expressed some of his other concerns like ensuring full immunisation to the children across 'the country.

"Despite the progress we have made, gaps remain. For example, Indian companies are among the world's biggest manufacturers of vaccines. These vaccines are supplied across the globe.

"Our innovative medical scientists have even developed new vaccines. Even so, our own immunisation record remains below the desirable levels," he said.

Many of our children, the president said, particularly in the far-flung and difficult-to-access areas, did not get the full course of immunisation.

He praised the Union government's projects which aimed to achieve these targets.

Updated Date:

also read

Watch: Irula snake catcher extracts reptile's venom with bare hands, internet stunned
India

Watch: Irula snake catcher extracts reptile's venom with bare hands, internet stunned

The Irula tribe, an ethnic group from Tamil Nadu, have been following a simple process to safely extract snake venom with special permission from the Centre. After three extractions, the snakes are returned to the wild

PM Modi to visit Himachal Pradesh on 5 October; to inaugurate AIIMS Bilaspur, participate in Kullu Dussehra celebrations
India

PM Modi to visit Himachal Pradesh on 5 October; to inaugurate AIIMS Bilaspur, participate in Kullu Dussehra celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay foundation stone of project for four laning of National Highway worth over Rs 1,690 crore

AIIMS bans cell phone use by OPD staff; to add extra buses for internal transport
India

AIIMS bans cell phone use by OPD staff; to add extra buses for internal transport

In an order issued on September 30, AIIMS has already waived off fee collection of Rs 10 for a new OPD card while introducing a ‘slot wise’ token number appointment system for patients without prior appointments