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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
05-January-2019 14:46 IST
Need to provide affordable medical facilities to people living in rural areas: Vice President

Doctors to be sensitive to patients and their families; Physical activity is vital for maintaining good health; Medical associations should campaign to educate people on preventing lifestyle diseases; Medical Council and affiliated organizations should bring in high standards in medical education; Addresses Diamond Jubilee of Rangaraya Medical College

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to provide affordable medical facilities to people living in rural areas. He also asked medical colleges to encourage students to visit rural areas and understand the healthcare requirements of poor and downtrodden.

Addressing the Diamond Jubilee of Rangaraya Medical College and Golden Jubilee of its Old Students Association, in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh today, Shri Naidu advocated that a doctor in the government service must mandatorily serve in rural areas before getting his/her first promotion.

The Vice President said that the Governments draw up policies and programs to improve healthcare. But it is the doctors at the grass-root level who play a key role in making them successful, he added.

The Vice President asked the young doctors to be sensitive to patients and their family. He said an important complement such as bonding and personal touch was missing in today’s treatment due to work pressure, increased reliance on investigations and commercialization of the profession. He advised doctors to spend more time and establish personal bond with the patient and his/her relatives and said that doctor’s gentle touch and kind words could soothe the frayed nerves of a nervous patient and produce a calming effect.

The Vice President called up on the private sector to work with a spirit of altruism, commitment and missionary zeal in providing modern and affordable healthcare facilities in the rural areas.  United efforts of government, private sector would take quality healthcare to remote and help us bridge the urban-rural divide, he added.

Saying that India had made significant improvements in providing basic and advanced health care since independence, Shri Naidu opined that much needed to be done to improve life expectancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and improve quality of life.

Expressing concern over the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases, he said that India was witnessing a double burden of diseases-infectious ailments as well as an increased incidence in life style diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cancers. It is estimated that 62 per cent deaths among men and 52 per cent among women are due to non-communicable diseases.

Shri Naidu said that the flagship initiative of ‘Ayushman Bharat’ that provides insurance coverage and comprehensive, need-based healthcare through 1,50,000 health and wellness centres to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families would address problems faced by people like huge out-of-pocket expenditure and accessing modern healthcare facilities.

The Vice President also called up on various medical associations to take up a campaign to educate people on the measures to be adopted for preventing lifestyle diseases. Quoting a paper published in ‘The Lancet Global Health’, he said that cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes kill around 4 million Indians annually (as in 2016), and most of these deaths were premature, occurring among Indians aged 30–70 years.

Shri Naidu had advised people to shun sedentary life style and called for a concerted action from government, doctors, public health experts, policymakers and healthcare planners to reverse the trend and prevent the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases.

Shri Naidu asked Medical Associations, Hospitals and authorities to see that the doctor patient ratio is maintained. He also stressed up on the need to employ skilled medical specialists and affordable treatment facilities as compared to many developed countries in Indian hospitals keeping in medical tourism in mind.

The Vice President urged Medical Council and affiliated organizations to bring in high standards in medical education across the country and increase medical and laboratory infrastructure at institutions.

The Deputy Chief Minister and  the Minister for Home & Disaster Management, Andhra Pradesh,  Shri N. Chinarajappa, the Member of Parliament, Dr. K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, the Member of Legislative Assembly, Dr. Kamineni Srinivas, the Vice President & President (Elect), AAPI, Dr. Jonnalagadda Sudhakar, the President, RAMCOSA, Dr. G. Seshagiri Rao, the Organising Chairman, Dr. Ganni Bhaskar Rao, the Secretary, RAMCOSA, Dr. M.V.V. Anand, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. NTR University of Health, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. C.V. Rao, the President, RMCANA, Dr. Venkata Subbaraya Chowdary, the Principal, Rangaraya Medical College, Dr. R. Mahalakshmi and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"I am delighted to be here in this institution of learning on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Rangaraya Medical College and Golden Jubilee of its Old Students Association.

This college was a result of dedicated efforts by eminent and noble men like Dr. M.V. Krishna Rao garu, Col. Dr. D.S. Raju garu, and the Maharajah of Pithapuram. Medicine is a noble profession and I can see nobility pervading here. There are doctors from far and wide who are saving lives and imparting medical knowledge to the future generations of doctors. There are also doctors here who went beyond their call of duty and are striving hard to serve and uplift their parental institution and also the society at large.

I also see nobility in the inscription of the college logo 'సర్వేసంతు నిరామయాఃmeaning 'May all be free from illness'. It is from the holy Vedas and is part of the hymn

ఓం, సర్వేభవంతు సుఖినః |సర్వే సంతు నిరామయాః

సర్వే భద్రాణి పశ్యంతు | మా కశ్చిత్ దుఃఖ భాగ్ భవేత్

ఓం శాంతి శాంతి శాంతిః

It means:

May all be prosperous and happy

May all be free from illness

May all see what is spiritually uplifting

May no one suffer

Om! Peace peace peace!

I am happy to note that notable academician and former President of India Sri Sarvepalli Radhakrishna laid the foundation to one of the buildings, and world renowned scientist Dr. J.B.S. Haldane donated his body to the Pathology department of this college for scientific research. It speaks volumes of the strong academic roots of this college and the institution’s commitment towards the noble cause of imparting medical knowledge and serving the society. It is truly laudable.

I am also happy to note that the college in its quest for expanding medical education has been scaling new heights as seen in the doubling of number of admissions in undergraduate courses and in starting post graduate diploma, degree, and super specialty courses.

I am aware that students of this college made their mark in fields other than medicine also like politics, education, business, and civil services, which is noteworthy. It is said that a healthy mind flourishes in a healthy body. I am informed that students of this college regularly participate and win medals and overall championships in games and sports at inter-collegiate and inter-university levels. That is very much needed - to keep the body active with games, exercise, and yoga, as, the practice of medicine can sometimes be very tiresome and stressful.

I am happy to see that the Old Students Association has organized this function to bring together students old and new at one place, the place of their birth as medical professionals and to build bridges between different generations and coordinate their action towards uplifting the standards of medical care, medical education and ultimately the patient care.

I also see it as an initiative to preserve the values of equality, mutual respect, social integration, social responsibility, and the feeling of oneness among all, as enunciated in our ancient texts – Vasudaika Kutumbakam, the whole world is one family. If everybody imbibes this noble thought into our thoughts and actions, the world will be a better place to live in.

I can see that the NRI alumni of this college are constantly lending their might to create more facilities in the college, hospital, and the hostels, in addition to conducting academic programs from time-to-time for the benefit of the students and faculty.

India has crossed many milestones since Independence in the quest towards making our country self-reliant in different areas from science and technology to health and food security. Today, we can be proud of our achievements in space technology, atomic science, Information technology and advanced medical care, among others. However, there is no room for complacency and we cannot sit on our laurels. We need to constantly endeavour to excel and be the best in every field.

Dear sisters and brothers, there is still much more to be done and we must strive hard to achieve our goals like providing clean and sustainable environment, access to potable drinking water, quality education and health for all.

Undoubtedly, we came a long way in providing basic and advanced health care. We are able to improve life expectancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and improve quality of life in general.

  • ఏదైనా ఒక పని ప్రారంభించే ముందు అనుకున్న దానికన్నా మెరుగ్గా చేయడం ఎలా అని ఆలోచించాలి. దీన్ని జపాన్ వాళ్ళు “కైజిన్ టెక్నిక్” అని పిలుస్తారు. తమ అభివృద్ధిలో దీని పాత్ర కీలకమైనదని వారు అభిప్రాయపడతారు.
  • ఇది భారతీయులకు కొత్త విషయం కాదు. మన వాళ్ళు ఏ నాడో ఈ పద్ధతి ప్రారంభించారు. మన ముందు తరాల వారు అనుసరించిన పద్ధతి కంటే ఉన్నతమైనదిగా ఉండాలనే తలంపుతో, వినూత్న మార్గాలను అనుసరించి, విజయాల బాటలో ముందుకు నడిచారు.
  • మీ అందరి నుంచి నేను ఆశించేది ఇదే. దీనికి ఏ పేరైనా పెట్టుకోండి. కానీ ప్రతి ఆలోచన, ప్రతి పని ఉన్నతంగా ఉండాలి. సమాజం పట్ల మీ బాధ్యతను గ్రహించండి. సమాజాన్ని ఉన్నతమైన మార్గంలో నడిపేందుకు వైద్యులుగా మీ కృషి కీలకమైనది.

Although our health care system consisting of Primary Health Centers, Taluk hospitals, and District hospitals is catering to the health requirements of the rural people, the need of the hour is to provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the rural and remote areas as most of the modern hospitals are located in urban areas. Our efforts are also being hampered by factors such as the rapidly growing population, vast country with diverse terrain, local prejudices, superstitions and illiteracy.

While successive governments at the national and state levels have been according highest priority to the health sector, the private sector needs to supplement the efforts of the government, especially in bridging the urban-rural divide. The private sector should work with a spirit of altruism, commitment and missionary zeal in providing modern and affordable healthcare facilities in the rural areas.

As regards the manpower shortage of medical professionals, I have also been advocating that a doctor in the government service should mandatorily serve in rural areas before getting his/her first promotion.

Governments draw up policies and programs to improve healthcare. But it is you-- doctors at the grass-root level who play a key role in making them successful. When I say doctors, I mean doctors in the government as well as private sector. For, the reach of the government in advanced medical care beyond taluk level is limited.

Friends, undoubtedly, we have made significant progress in controlling preventable illnesses through vaccinations and hygienic healthcare practices. At the same time, the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases is a major concern. We are seeing a double burden of diseases—infectious ailments as well as an increased incidence in life style diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cancers. It is estimated that 62 per cent deaths among men and 52 per cent among women are due to non-communicable diseases.

I am sure, the flagship initiative of ‘Ayushman Bharat’ to provide insurance coverage and comprehensive, need-based healthcare through 1,50,000 health and wellness centres to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families would address problems faced by people like huge out-of-pocket expenditure and accessing modern healthcare facilities.

I would like various medical associations to take up a campaign to educate people on the measures to be adopted for preventing lifestyle diseases. Leading a healthy and active life is important by avoiding sedentary lifestyle and adopting healthy dietary habits. According to a paper published in ‘The Lancet Global Health’, the three leading causes of mortality—cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes—together accounted for a substantial proportion of total deaths in India in 2016 with considerable cross-state variation. In absolute terms, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes kill around 4 million Indians annually (as in 2016), and most of these deaths are premature, occurring among Indians aged 30–70 years. Furthermore, they represent some of the world's largest health losses, with enormous policy ramifications, it noted.

Experts have been pointing out that the onset of these diseases is typically a decade earlier in India as compared to developed countries. This is a matter of concern and calls for a concerted action from all the stakeholders—government, doctors, public health experts, policymakers and healthcare planners to reverse the trend and prevent the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases.

The initiative of the Medical Council of India to teach Preventive Medicine from the first year of the MBBS course is a step in the right direction.

Another challenge we are facing is the doctor patient ratio. Although, the doctor patient ratio is less than 1:1000 norm prescribed by the WHO, there has been a lot of improvement in this aspect mainly due to the private medical institutions. While, the problem of quantity is being addressed, there also has to be improvement in the quality of medical education.

I am sure, various initiatives of the National Medical Council will bring uniformity in providing high standards in medical education across the country.

Dear sisters and brothers,

India is also emerging as a hub for medical tourism due to the availability of skilled medical specialists and affordable treatment facilities as compared to many developed countries.

Of late, we are also witnessing frequent incidents of violence against doctors. This is a disturbing trend and the most stringent action needs to be taken against those who take law into their hands. At the same time, the medical associations need to educate the public on health issues as an informed patient will be cooperative and understanding.

An important aspect that is missing these days is the personal touch and bonding that a doctor needs to establish with his patient. I feel that doctors on their part should spend more time at the bedside and establish personal bond with the patient and his/her relatives. This seems to have taken a back seat due to work pressure, increased reliance on investigations and commercialization of the profession.

The personal bonding is important as a doctor’s gentle touch and kind words can soothe the frayed nerves of a nervous patient and produce a calming effect. I do hope that the IMA and the associations of the various specialties will look into this and take appropriate action.

ఇక్కడ సీనియర్ వైద్యులతో పాటు, ఎంతో మంది యువ వైద్య విద్యార్థులు ఉన్నారు. భవిష్యత్తు యువతదే.

ఓ సందర్భంలో స్వామి వివేకానంద... “ఆధునిక యువత మీద నాకు విశ్వాసం ఉంది. నేను నిర్మించిన ఆదర్శాన్ని దేశమంతా వ్యాప్తి చేసే వారే. యువత బలిస్టులుగా, జవ సంపన్నులుగా, ఆత్మవిశ్వాసం కలవారిగా, సరైన మార్గంలో నడిచే వారిగా ఉంటే ఈ ప్రపంచాన్ని వారు మార్చగలరు” అంటూ విశ్వాసం వ్యక్తం చేశారు.

•           శారీరకంగా పెరగడం ఒక్కటే యవ్వనానికి చిహ్నం కాదు. మానసికంగా ఎదగాలి. మహోన్నతులు కావాలి. ప్రస్తుతం ఎంతో మంది యువత పని ఒత్తిడిలో, సంపాదనే ధ్యేయంగా అనేక మానసిక సమస్యలతో ఇబ్బంది పడుతున్నారు.

•           ఓ అధ్యయనం ప్రకారంలో యువతలో దాదాపు 45 శాతం మంది వివిధ మానసిక సమస్యలతో బాధపడుతున్నారు.

•           నేటి సమాజంలో వైద్యుల పాత్ర ఎంత కీలకమైనదంటే, ఇప్పుడు శారీరక వ్యాధులు మాత్రమే కాదు, మానసిక సమస్యలు సైతం సమాజాన్ని పీడిస్తున్నాయి. ఈ నేపథ్యంలో ప్రతి వైద్యుడు ఓ మానసిక వేత్త కావాలి. మనో నిబ్బరంతో సమస్యలను ఎలా ఎదుర్కోవాలో తెలియజెప్పాలి.

•           ఇంతకు ముందు చెప్పినట్లుగా, ప్రస్తుతం వైద్య పర్యాటకం (హెల్త్ టూరిజం) విషయంలో భారతదేశం మరింత ముందుకు పోతోంది. వైద్య రంగంలో ఉన్న వారికి ప్రస్తుతం దేశంలో ఎన్నో అవకాశాలు ఉన్నాయి. వాటిని వినియోగించుకోండి.

•           వైద్య రంగం అంటే సేవా రంగం అనే విషయాన్ని గుర్తుంచుకోండి. కేవలం వ్యాధులు వచ్చినప్పుడు వైద్యం అందించడం మాత్రమే కాదు, రాబోయే వ్యాధుల పట్ల అవగాహన కల్పించే బాధ్యత కూడా మీదే.

•           ప్రస్తుతం సమాజంలో ఎంతో మంది అనేక రకాల సమస్యలతో బాధపడుతూ ఉంటారు. పేదలకు సేవ చేయడం మీ కర్తవ్యంగా భావించండి. సమస్యను తెలుసుకోవడానికి, వారికి సలహా ఇవ్వడానికి వైద్యులే కావలసిన అవసరం లేదు.

•           ప్రమాదాల నుంచి రక్షించే అన్ని రకాల ప్రథమ చికిత్స గురించి ప్రజలకు అవగాహన కల్పించేందుకు మీ ఖాళీ సమయాలను కేటాయించండి. ఉదాహరణకు హఠాత్తుగా గుండెపోటు వచ్చినప్పుడు అవసరమైన కార్డియో పల్మనరీ రిసస్సిటేషన్ (CPR) లాంటి వాటి పట్ల సమాజంలో అవగాహన కల్పించేందుకు కృషి చేయండి.

In this context, I would like to recall that recently I had released a booklet on Basic Cardiac Life Support published by the Indian Resuscitation Council (IRC) and tried my hand at practicing the Compression Only Life Support, pioneered by the council.

ఆరోగ్యకరమైన అలవాట్ల దిశగా ప్రజలు ముందుకు నడిచేందుకు ప్రోత్సాహం అందించండి. అలాగే ప్రజల జీవన విధానంలో మార్పులు తెచ్చేందుకు, ఆరోగ్యకరమైన జీవితాన్ని అలవాటు చేసుకునేందుకు సాయం చేయండి.

•           పరిశుభ్రతలోని ప్రాధాన్యత గురించి ప్రజల్లో అవగాహన తీసుకురావడం వైద్యుల బాధ్యత అని  గుర్తించండి. స్వచ్ఛభారత్, క్లీన్ ఇండియా లాంటి వాటి పట్ల అవగాహన పెంచండి.

•           నేచర్... కల్చర్... ఫర్ బెటర్ ఫ్యూచర్

ప్రకృతిని ప్రేమించడం, ప్రకృతితో కలిసి జీవించడం వల్ల కలిగే ప్రయోజనాల పట్ల సమాజంలో అవగాహన తీసుకువచ్చే ప్రయత్నం చేయండి. మీరు వైద్యులు. మీ మాటను ప్రజలు నమ్మకంతో విశ్వసిస్తారు. కాబట్టి వైద్యం కంటే ముందు అవగాహన పెంచేందుకే ప్రాధాన్యత ఇవ్వండి.

Finally I wish you all a memorable time in the pleasant environs of this beautiful campus. I wish you take inspiration from this institution and continue to serve the people with dedication and create a more healthy nation. 

 

Jai Hind!"

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AKT/BK/MS/RK