Noting that India is way behind in the field of medical research, PM Narendra Modi on Monday said much more needs to be done and asked doctors passing out from AIIMS to give back to society which has contributed in making them what they are.
He also asked doctors to work among the poor in far-flung areas at least for a week in a year.
“You are so lucky to have studied in an institution like AIIMS. I leave you in hope that as children of mother India you will give back to society which has given you so much love…,” he said at at 42nd convocation of the institute in New Delhi on Monday.
Modi said Indian doctors have made a name for themselves world over but the country was far behind other countries in the field of research.
“In the field of research we should become more conscious towards case history.We should record the case history of patients and it can give us valuable information in two-three years.
It may be possible that some among you could become a research scientist,” he said.
In an apparent reference to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s remark that over 40 percent of AIIMS doctors go abroad for work, Modi said he was not aware if the thought of giving back crossed their mind as the country diverted budget from different sectors to their field, which made them what they are.
Addressing the students, Modi said, “(You should think) in a way, somebody’s rights were snatched to provide for us… I will remember it every moment of my life.
Everybody coming to me has helped me in some way and he has a right over me… To repay this debt is your duty.”
“Efforts would have been made to develop this (medical field) by stopping the possibility of development in different sectors of society,” he noted.
The Prime Minister, however, added that such diversion was necessary to encourage medical sector in a country as big as India.
He said doctors must be aware of and practice innovations and fast-changing technologies in the field to stay relevant.
The difference between a good and bad doctor, he said, was often that the former touched a chord with patients while the latter treated the sick part of body like a tool to be fixed.
“You should become popular with your patients as they follow you.
A patient may think why I should care when the concerned doctor himself is smoking.
You are an example… You must remember this,” Modi said Students should not think that passing-out from AIIMS was the end to their “struggle” and “learning” and lead an exemplary life as patients believe in what doctors say and do.
“This is not the end of your learning rather you are now going from a closed and protected classroom, to an open classroom,” he said, adding that keeping a student’s mindset would help them become “energetic” throughout life while lack of it is the “first step towards death”.
Modi also said that poor students should be invited to convocations like these as “special guests” as it will spark “curiosity and inspiration” in them which no teacher can do.
The Prime Minister’s speech was interspersed with many light moments as well.
In his concluding remarks, Modi said he was “puzzled” why he was invited as he was neither a “good patient” nor a doctor.
“I was invited because I am Prime Minister. It is country’s bad luck that we (politicians) are everywhere.”