Addressing the Golden Jubilee Celebrations & Foundation Day of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Shri Azad said PGIMER owes its inception to the vision of late Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, the then Chief Minister of Punjab and the distinguished medical educationists supported by the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who considered the institutions of scientific knowledge as temples of learning and places of pilgrimage. Over the years, PGIMER has fulfilled its mandate and gained reputation for providing the highest standards of clinical care. Many individuals; present and past, faculty, students and directors have contributed to its growth over the past 50 years.
To enable the Institute to cope with the tremendous patient rush from all over the country, a 250-bedded hospital is coming up in PGI Campus which will add more private rooms and 10 Operation Theatres. It will also house the expanded Oncology, ENT and Endocrinology departments. A National Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Architecture will be set up in the Institute which will offer Masters Programme in Health Facilities Planning and Designing and Health Care Engineering and Management. This will be the first of its kind in South East Asia. PGIMER has been allocated Rs. 635 crores in the Union budget this year to keep up its best tradition of service, education and research.
Shri Azad said the last 4 years have been a new era of reforms in the history of medical education of India. The availability of MBBS seats has gone up from 33,567 to 45,629 and the number of PG seats increased from 13,838 to 22,850. 72 new medical colleges including six new AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh have been established raising the number from 290 to 362. Altogether 19 Government Medical Colleges have been up-graded as super speciality hospitals.
To overcome the shortage of Nurses and ANMs, Government of India has sanctioned 269 nursing schools in the last two years, mostly in remote, inaccessible and under-served districts. With an estimated outlay of Rs. 2,030 crores, these institutions will give nearly 20,000 additional nurses annually. To give a boost to para-medical education and scale up the availability of para-medics, a National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS) at Delhi and 8 Regional Institutes are being established. A total of 10,760 paramedic professionals are expected to be trained annually when these institutes of excellence are fully functional.
Shri Azad said the past four years have been historic times for the Indian Healthcare. Reforms introduced by the Health Ministry has changed total health scenario of the country. The latest initiative is "Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram", which was launched on 6th February, 2013 from a tribal block of Thane District in Maharashtra by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA. This national programme is for Universal Screening of Children for Disorders, Diseases, Deficiencies and Disabilities from birth up to 18 years. It will cover 27 crore across the country including 17 crore school going children. India has earned international acclaim for containing Polio, with the longest polio-free period ever since eradication efforts were launched.
There have been significant falls in MMR, IMR and TFR as well as reduction in new HIV cases by 57%. Since the launch of the National Rural Health Mission over 8 years ago, substantial progress has been achieved in several areas. More than Rs. 90,000 crores has been released to the 35 State Governments and UTs. New Health Infrastructure has been created - nearly 50,000 new construction and up-gradation works were taken up to improve health facilities. Nearly 70,000 beds have been increased in the country in government health institutions for provision of essential and emergency services. Addition of 1.6 lakh human resources such as Specialists, Doctors, Nurses, ANMs and Para-medics has been made.
There is continuous expansion of immunization activities in the country. Hepatitis-B vaccine has been included in the Universal Immunization Programme recently. Japanese Encephalitis vaccination is being undertaken in 175 identified districts, with 62 new districts being added to the existing 113 in 19 states. Pentavalent Vaccine containing DPT, Hepatitis-B and Hib vaccines was started in two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu from December 2011.