AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), New Delhi held its 40th Annual Convocation on Tuesday, 16th October, 2012.
The Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday called upon medicos in order to join the national effort and take the lead in extending the fruits of scientific advancements to the poorest households in the remotest regions of the country.
On addressing the 40th Convocation of AIMS, Azad said, "AIIMS has been ranked as the best medical college in the country. It continues to fulfill the objectives of developing teaching patterns, providing educational facilities of the highest order and attaining self-sufficiency in post graduate medical education. The alumni of this great institution are not only providing healthcare in country but also in most developed countries including the US and UK".
"I am very happy to be present at the 40th convocation. This institute is a tribute to the vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur who foresaw the need for an institution that can emerge as the trail blazer for medical education and research in the country", he added.
He congratulated the students and scholars who were receiving their degrees and prizes. The convocation marks the fruition of your hard work and your transition from students to professionals, from scholars to scientists. You must also realize the enormity of responsibility that has been placed in you. The baton of knowledge and skills, that you have received and the values you have imbibed must be carried with the same spirit and zeal as has been done by your teachers, he said.
In his speech, he said Health is among the topmost priorities of the Government. Progress in the health sector is the key to India's future place of prominence in the world. 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."
"Finally time has come for India to aim at attaining Universal Health Coverage in the next 2 to 3 Plan periods. It is possible today to leverage reasonable amount of resources to make bold and sustained investment in health. I visualize public spending on Health rising 2.5% of the GDP by the end of the Twelfth Plan Period".
"However, provision of Universal health care is a matter of faith for the Government. For this, the public health system must be greatly expanded and strengthened across the Nation. We need many more nurses, doctors, paramedics and health workers. We need to decentralize planning implementation of health care to the district and sub-district levels. We need to take health services closer to the homes and families, even a primary health centre is too far by today's standard and need. We need out of the box managerial and administrative reforms in the health departments at the state and central level".
In order to achieve this, he said we need public health professionals to spearhead public health programs. We need to develop effective models of health care for the ever-increasing urban population. The foundation of India's national health system must be a strong, sensitive and efficient public health system. Hence I call upon all stake holders to join hands to build a solid consensus for a historic transformation of India's health sector in the coming years.