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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
11-October-2018 20:18 IST
Private sector must come forward in health-care sector in India: Vice President

Create awareness regarding the maxillofacial treatment procedures; Early detection is crucial for any disease, more so for cancer; Wearing a helmet should be a matter of habit; Addresses 43rd National Conference of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of India

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the private sector must come forward in health-care sector in India to fulfill the health-care requirements of the whole nation. He was addressing the 43rd National Conference of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of India with the theme “Innovate, inspire, integrate”, in Chennai today.

The Vice President said that Science & Technology has been part of India’s culture right from the ancient times and we invented zero, place values, algebra, concept of atom, calculation of eclipses, among others. ‘Sushruta Samhita’ talks of surgery while Charak describes hundreds of diseases, their causes and treatment methods, he added.

Saying the budding maxillofacial surgeons of today have a wider surgical horizon to explore, the Vice President said that the role of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the society is of paramount importance and indispensable, especially during the time of tragic accidents or oral cancers.

Showing concern over the present youth not wearing the helmets while riding motorbikes, the Vice President said that helmets protect from severe injuries to head and face in the unfortunate case of an accident. Wearing a helmet should be a matter of habit, he said. A road accident occurs every 3.5 minutes in India and over-speeding, mobile phone usage while driving and drivers’ fatigue caused the maximum number of road accidents in India and the youth are the most vulnerable to such incidents, he added. He cautioned the youth who enjoy high speed chases on motorbikes to be aware of the dangers of high speed. He added that they have a valuable life and bright future and do not let go of it for momentary happiness – Drive safe!    

The Vice President said that India is the “oral cancer” capital of the world and it is among the top three cancers in India in terms of its incidence. This creates a responsibility for the oral and maxillofacial surgeons not only to treat this disease but also help in preventing the occurrence of oral cancer by increasing anti-tobacco awareness, he added.

The Vice President urged the healthcare professionals to encourage people to go for early and regular medical checkups. Lack of early identification and diagnosis often leads to patients seeking care only in the terminal stages, he said. Steps must be taken to reduce the cost of oral & maxillofacial surgery and make it affordable to common man, including those in rural areas, he added.   

The Vice President said that early detection is crucial for any disease, more so for cancer. Although preventive, curative and palliative care programmes have been initiated at national and regional levels, these measures seem to be too negligible for combating the spread of cancer, he said. Unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon to the poor and the needy, he added.

The Vice President urged all healthcare professionals to create awareness regarding the maxillofacial treatment procedures and highlight them at all medical facilities including PHCs. There is a need to lay down a strong referral network to address them at the nearest district hospital where a specialized OMF service can be set up, he added.

The Minister for Fisheries and Personnel & Administrative Reforms, Tamil Nadu, Shri D. Jayakumar, the President, Dental Council of India, Dr. Dibyendu Mazumdar, the President, Japanese Society of OMS, Dr. Mihikiki Kogo, the President of AOMSI, Dr. Philip Mathrew and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"It gives me immense pleasure to be here in this knowledge city of Chennai to interact with doctors at the annual conference of the Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India (AOMSI).  I congratulate the organizers for choosing “Innovate, inspire, integrate” as theme of the conference.   

I am told that the conference offers a wide spectrum of topics for scientific interactions – ranging from minor surgical procedures to recent innovations like computer assisted surgery, intra operative navigation and robotic surgery.

I was informed that the AOMSI and its Japanese counterpart the Japanese Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (JSOMS) are signing a MoU for collaborations in research, knowledge transfer and student exchange programs. My best wishes to them. It is essential that countries like Japan and India both with a great history of medical genius must exchange knowledge. 

Friends, Science & Technology has been part of India’s culture and tradition. The scientific bent of mind in ancient India was reflected right from the use of zero, place values, algebra, concept of atom, calculation of eclipses, among others. ‘Sushruta Samhita’ talks of surgery while Charak describes hundreds of diseases, their causes and treatment methods. Our medicinal forms such as Ayurveda gave solutions to the most complex health problems.

I am happy that doctors gathered here are discussing about an important specialty of dentistry - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS).  It involves the diagnosis and surgical management of various diseases and conditions affecting the mouth, jaws, face, head and neck. The surgery is done to establish harmony between a person’s upper and lower jaws. 

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) as a specialty originally began in the UK and USA in the late 1800s as a branch of dentistry called oral surgery which primarily handled trauma and diseases of the teeth and the mouth.

The specialty in India took its roots in Mumbai when Prof Ginwalla completed his training from Canada under Dr Risdon and established the first formal training program in India for Oral Surgery.

Currently the specialty has been re designated as Oral & Maxillofacial surgery. The budding maxillofacial surgeons of today have a wider surgical horizon to explore; extending from the practice of surgery of  mouth and jaws  to surgery of the head and neck, bony orbit(bone around the eyes) and the cranium(bones of the skull).

Dear friends, role of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the society is of paramount importance and indispensable, especially during the time of tragic accidents or oral cancers.

The definition of an ideal surgeon according to the great surgeon Sushrutaa is: “A person who possesses courage and presence of mind, a hand free from perspiration, tremor less grip of sharp and good instruments and who carries his operations to the success and advantage of his patient who has entrusted his life to the surgeon. The surgeon should respect this absolute surrender and treat his patient as his own son.”

The core spectrum of work which falls within the purview of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery includes the treatment for problems associated with the oral cavity, restoration of missing teeth, birth defects of the head and face and injuries cased due to accidents, among others.

A recent study has revealed that not using helmet caused severe injuries to head, face. It should be understood by one and all that wearing helmet is not for the police, it is for our own protection.

According to government estimates, a road accident occurs every 3.5 minutes in India. Over-speeding, mobile phone usage while driving and drivers’ fatigue caused the maximum number of road accidents in India in 2017, data released by the government showed.

More than three out of four (76 percent) of the accidents happened because of over speeding, nearly one in five (18 percent) road mishaps took place because of using mobile phones during driving.

Overall, road accidents in the country fell by two percent, year-on-year, from 4,80,652 (2016) to 4,70,975 (2017) but Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of accidents totalling close to 75,000, followed by Madhya Pradesh (57,532) and Karnataka (52,961).

In all the cases, it was found that the youth were the most vulnerable to such incidents. In 2017, 73,793 people, aged between 18 and 35 met with accident. The number was 69,851 the previous year. This is serious and we cannot lose youth who are our future and the pillars of our national development.

Here I would like to caution our young generation who enjoy high speed on a motorbike to be aware of the dangers of high speed. You have a valuable life and bright future. Do not let go of it for momentary happiness. – Drive safe!    

Injuries or defects on face not only cause pain but take people into trauma and high degree of emotional stress. It will also have a severe psychological impact on those suffering and their parents.

In such cases maxillofacial surgery comes as a relief. Since the surgery is on the visible parts of the body, it requires utmost care. The science and art of treating these injuries requires special training involving a “hands on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long-term function and appearance.

Now, I would like to talk about the most pressing problem of this time and age, oral cancer. India is the “oral cancer” capital of the world. It is among the top three cancers in India in terms of its incidence. Approximately 20 persons in 100,000 suffer from oral cancer and 90% of this is attributable to the use of tobacco in different forms.

This creates a responsibility for the oral and maxillofacial surgeons not only to treat this disease but also help in preventing the occurrence of oral cancer by increasing anti-tobacco awareness. Reports suggest that 30% of cancers in India are oral cancers and require the professional services of a maxillofacial surgeon. But lack of facilities, care and lack of early identification and diagnosis leads to patients seeking care only in the terminal stages. This leads to poor prognosis and high rates of cancer related deaths.

Dear friends, early detection is crucial for any disease, more so for cancer. Although preventive, curative and palliative care programmes have been initiated at national and regional levels, these measures seem to be too negligible for combating the spread of cancer.

Documented findings reveal mammoth proportions of cancer growth which warrants not only scientific, but also sustained and consistent efforts with appropriate planning, monitoring and evaluation of cancer control programmes.

While the incidence of cancer has been increasing worldwide, developing nations like India are showing steep increase over the years. In India, it is estimated that there are about 30 lakh cases of cancer at any particular point of time with 10 lakh new cases occurring every year. About 5 lakh deaths occur annually in the country due to cancer in India.

According to projections of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2016, the total number of new cases is expected to touch 17.3 lakh by 2020. It has been estimated that the number of deaths due to cancer is likely to reach 8.8 lakh cases by 2020. Breast cancer was the most common among women, while the incidence of mouth cancer was highest among men. Clearly, this is a major healthcare challenge that needs to be adequately and effectively addressed.

I advice all the people present in this august gathering to encourage people to go for early and regular medical checkups. Lack of early identification and diagnosis often leads to patients seeking care only in the terminal stages.  Steps must be taken to reduce the cost of oral & maxillofacial surgery and make it affordable to common man, including those in rural areas. 

As you all are aware, technology-driven modern healthcare is becoming increasingly expensive.

As per the World Development Indicators, out of total expenditure on health in India, only 30 per cent is contributed by the public sector. Remaining 70 per cent of the expenditure is borne through private expenditure. Of the Household expenditure on health, it is estimated that 95 per cent is out-of-pocket expenditure borne directly by the individuals at points of health services, while the remaining 5 per cent goes towards insurance.

As regards out-of-pocket expenditure, 52 per cent expenditure is towards medicines, 22 per cent towards hospitalization at a private hospital and 10 per cent goes for diagnostic labs. It is a matter of concern that in many instances families were pushed into debt trap by high costs of medical treatment.

Unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon for the poor and needy sections of the society. It is a transformative healthcare scheme seeks to provide insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family will cover 10 crore marginalized and vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary healthcare.

The Private sector must also come forward in health-care sector in India to fulfil the health-care requirements of the whole nation. Corporate sector must also take keen interest in improving the healthcare situation in the country by turning their CSR funds.  Sharing and Caring are essential to Indian culture and such culture must be taken forward by helping the needy. We must ensure that the poorest of the poor get benefits of government and societal initiatives.   

In conclusion, I urge all of you to create awareness regarding the maxillofacial treatment procedures and highlight them at all medical facilities including PHCs.

There is a need to lay down a strong referral network to address them at the nearest district hospital where a specialized OMF service can be set up.

I hope the conference of the Association of Oral Surgeons of India (AOMSI) would throw light on all the pressing problems and would help you come out with solutions.                            

In the end, I would like to congratulate the organizers for their efforts to bring in all medical professionals together.

Jai Hind!"

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AKT/BK/MS/RK