Mumbai: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu recently addressed the 13th Convocation of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, a Deemed to be University (PIMS DU), in Loni, Maharashtra.
During his address, Shri Naidu congratulated the 437 graduates who were being presented degrees at the Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences and applauded their parents for supporting & trusting their wards, empowering them to fully explore their talents & creativity. He called for a renewed focus on rural health care and cautioned that the quality of healthcare being delivered cannot be determined by the price being paid.
He also expressed delight that a large number of graduates who won awards and medals for excellence were women. ‘There is no tool for development more effective than women empowerment’, he said.
The Vice President appreciated Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences for striving to provide quality education & training to the health professionals of the nation. He said that it was rendering valuable service by meeting the healthcare needs of the rural & tribal populace at a time when India is aspiring to have more qualified doctors, nurses and therapists serving in rural areas. He suggested a mandatory rural service for doctors for 3 years.
He emphasized upon providing quality higher education, especially professional and technical education as an imperative to empower the youth to play a meaningful role in nation building.
Outlining some of the major challenges faced by healthcare sector such as the epidemiological transition being witnessed by India from communicable to non-communicable diseases, unequal access to healthcare and rising costs, Shri Naidu said that a lot more needs to be done to ensure health security to our vast population.
Technology is important
Highlighting the importance of technology, the Vice President said that with technology, it was possible to reach millions of people across the country, providing better diagnosis and treatment by facilitating effective collaboration between healthcare workers.
Expressing concern over the rising costs of providing medical services, Shri Naidu opined that the integration of technological innovation with healthcare delivery will certainly help in lower healthcare delivery costs. He urged all educational institutions to invest a sizeable portion of their budget in research and development for the discovery and advancement of new technologies.
The Vice President observed that urban areas had four times as many medical practitioners compared to rural areas, and said that this rural-urban divide had to be addressed on the war footing. He said that ‘Ram Rajya’ cannot be achieved without attaining ‘Gram Rajya’. He added that rural development was a cause close to his heart.
He said, “There is also a great rural-urban divide when it comes to healthcare. Urban areas have four times as many medical practitioners compared to rural areas, making rural India grossly underserved. The quality of medical education also varies between rural and urban centres. Our Primary Health Centers which are the first point of contact for patients face funding issues and infrastructural lacunae. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is the need of the hour.”
UHC can resolve a number of issues we face in the health sector by standardizing healthcare infrastructure and providing value-based medicine, he added
Medical profession- A ‘Mission’
Terming medical profession as a ‘mission’, Shri Naidu said that healthcare practitioners would play a critical role in nation building by safeguard the health of this nation, enabling it for it to take its rightful place of leadership in the world. ‘Only a healthy nation cab be a wealthy nation’, he added.
Shri Naidu urged all the young doctors and budding healthcare professionals to treat all their patients, both rich and poor, with the same commitment, investment, respect and integrity.
The Vice President called upon the students to dedicate themselves to the service of mankind, mitigate hunger, poverty, ignorance and blind beliefs. ‘Today, you have made your University proud. It is time to go forth and make your nation proud’, he told them.
The Governor of Maharashtra & the Chancellor of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao, the Pro-Chancellor of PIMS DU, Shri Vijay Kelkar, the recipient of Honorary Degree, Shri Ashok Panagariya and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.