Chandigarh : Progress in the health sector is the key to India’s future prominence in the world. A nation’s productivity depends on the health and well-being of its citizens. Economic growth that does not go hand in hand with reduction in avoidable mortality and ill health is neither sustainable nor desirable”, said Sh.Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India while addressing the audience during the 33rd Convocation of PGIMER.
While praising the faculty staff and students of PGI who worked selflessly to bring the Institute to its present position of pre-eminence he said, “The PGI must rise to be one of the top medical universities in the world within a specific period of time. This target is ambitious but I am confident the faculty, the students and the staff can together achieve this. We must develop world class centres of excellence focused not only on traditional specialties but also on cross-cutting themes such as infectious diseases, vaccine development and regenerative sciences. I call upon the faculty and scholars of PGI to step forward and become leaders in the world of medicine. The government will support you in this endeavour in every possible way.” Sh.Mukherjee awarded Gold Medals to four best students of the year.
Earlier Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare and President of PGIMER handed over the degrees to the students. While addressing the students he said, “As you embark on individual professional paths, you would do well to carry the strong ethical values encouraged by this Institute of Excellence.” While sharing about several developments taking place in the health sector in the country he said, “A series of reforms in medical education have been undertaken with a view to overcome the acute shortage of human resources in health at various levels; whether it was to overcome the shortage of faculty or to rationalize land, infrastructure and bed occupancy norms or teacher-student ratio or increase intake of MBBS and PG seats. Particularly to increase PG seats, the ratio of Professors to students has been revised from 1:1 to 1:3 for Anesthesiology, Radiotherapy, Forensic Medicine, Medical Oncology and Surgical Oncology and 1:2 for other PG disciplines. I am glad to state that these path-breaking decisions have brought in positive results, never seen before in the past six decades. The number of MBBS seats has increased by 46% and PG seats by 70% in last five years’ time.….. Within this period, 72 new medical colleges, including six AIIMS, were established raising the number from 290 to present day 362.
I am very pleased to inform that the Medical Colleges at the six new AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh have started functioning with admission of 50 students each in September, 2012. The Hospitals are going to be made functional this year itself.
Another important initiative has been the launch of the single entrance tests in the name of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to UG and PG medical courses being conducted from the academic year 2013-14 to save the students from hardships faced in appearing in multiple entrance exams across the country and bring uniformity in the standards of admission to the medical course to promote merit.
Several other proposals are being considered by my Ministry to give a fillip to the medical education sector, especially increasing the intake of MBBS students, during the 12th Five Year Plan, beginning this year. These include:-
Ø Further relaxation in infrastructure requirements for establishment of new medical colleges.
Ø Formulating guidelines for allowing district hospitals to be used for establishing medical colleges on PPP mode
Ø Increase in intake capacity from 50 or 100 seats to 100 or 150 seats respectively at UG level on completion of 10 years
Ø Compulsory posting of 1 year for medical graduates at primary health centres and postgraduates at community health centres as part of their internship periods.”
Shri Azad thanked PGI for contributing to the national effort of adding skilled human resource in health and said, “………to enable the institute to continue to impart state of the art knowledge and skills and undertake research, essential for tertiary medical care, Rs. 635 crores has been allocated to it this year. I have given in-principle approval to the Institute to develop a 300 bed satellite centre of PGIMER at Sangrur in Punjab in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Center, which could be expanded to a 500 bed facility depending upon the case load. Further, a 100-bed facility will also be set up in the border district of Ferozepur, to provide quality tertiary care to the people living in remote areas.
I am told that the environment clearance for a proposed 250 bed hospital has just been obtained, which will add around 90 private rooms and 10 Operation Theatres at the Institute and will house, among other facilities, the expanded Oncology, ENT and Endocrionology departments.”
Earlier Prof. Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGIMER welcomed the Chief Guest, along with other distinguished guests Sh. Shivraj V. Patil, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Chandigarh; Sh. Jagannath Pahadia, Hon’ble Governor of Haryana, Sh. B.S. Hooda, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Haryana and Dr. Killi Kuruparani, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology. He also congratulated the students who received their degrees and wished that they would do this Institute and country proud as they represented the intellectual cream of the country and the nation had high expectations from them. While informing about the recent achievement of the PGIMER he said, “The dedicated work of faculty and staff attracts patients from all over the country. Last year 19 lakh patients (7000 per day) attended our OPDs and 71000 were admitted.
Research emanating from PGI is recognized all over the world. Many of our programs have been adopted as national programs. Our faculty has identified new diseases in India, developed their control and management protocols.
In the last one year PGI has added many new facilities: the Advanced Trauma Centre, Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant, Nucleic Acid Testing Laboratory, Neurosciences Genetic Research Laboratory, mobile Asha-Jyoti Van for early detection of cancer in women and a Tele-psychiatry centre. Needless to say, the credit for all these achievements goes to every person associated, in any way, with this institute.
In the near future we aim to start Multi Organ Transplantation – lungs, heart, pancreas and intestine in addition to the existing liver and kidney transplants; a Neurosciences Centre and Mother-Child Care Centre. We plan to introduce robotic surgery, boost stem cell research, work towards non-communicable diseases and start state-of-the-art metabolic and genetic laboratories.”
The Chief Guest awarded Gold Medals to the students for outstanding research and academic excellence. The medals include Kataria Memorial Gold Medal to Dr.Kanhaiya Lal Aggarwal; Major General Amir Chand Gold Medal to Dr.Raguram Ganesomoni; R. Nath Gold Medal to Dr. Binu Kumar and Aikat Memorial Gold Medal to Ms.Saroj Adhikari.
Today, 393 students were awarded degrees. During the Convocation DM (medical super-specialties) was awarded in Cardiology, Clinical Pharmacology Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Neurology, Nephrology, Neonatology, Neuro Radiology, Pulmonary Medicine, Pediatrics Critical Care & Pediatrics Hemato Oncology to 45; MCh (surgical super-specialties) of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Paediatric Surgery, Surgical Gastroenterology & Urology to 32; PhD awarded to 9 students; MD in the medical specialities of Anaesthesia, Biochemistry, Community Medicine, Dermatology, Medicine, Microbiology, Nuclear Medicine, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Psychiatry, Radiodiagnosis, Radiotherapy & Transfusion Medicine to 131; MS in the surgical specialities of Otorhinolaryngology, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology & surgery to 56; MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) to 5; MHA (Master of Hospital Administration) to 2; MPH (Master of Public Health) to 8; MSc in Biochemistry, Medical Biotechnology, Radiodiagnosis, Radiotherapy, Virology, Haematology & Anatomy to 12 and BSc. in para-medical courses to 100.
A commemorative postal stamp was released by the President of India as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute. Prof. Amod Gupta, Dean PGI facilitated the process of giving degrees to the students and also delivered the vote of thanks. Various Dignitaries, the faculty, students and other staff of PGI attended the function.