Honble Shri M.Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India and sh.Gulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and President of the Institute addressed the Golden Jubilee Celebrations & 51st Foundation Day Function on Saturday, 6th July, 2013 at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh.
Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has said that a healthy population is a fundamental ingredient of inclusive development and nation building. Universal access to quality health care is not just a social imperative; it is a necessary condition for economic progress and prosperity. Addressing at the "Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh" at Chandigarh today, he said that an unhealthy population imposes enormous social and economic costs on society and hinders sustainable development.
PGIMER completes fifty years of its existence and enters the 51st year on 7th July 2013. Conceived in 1961 with the concurrence of the Planning Commission, the Institute started functioning in 1962 with make-shift arrangements. The hard work and dedication of the faculty as well as the sincerity and commitment of the Government of Punjab resulted in an unbelievable progress.
The Institute was formally inaugurated on July 7, 1963 by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Within a short period of 4 years, the PGI was declared as an Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament on 1st April, 1967 (Act 51 of 1966). The first batch of postgraduates was admitted on January 1963.
The Vice President expressed his concern that despite these achievements, however, the overall health profile of our burgeoning population projects a disturbing picture. According to a 2005 WHO study, the estimated economic loss to India due to deaths caused by all the diseases was 1.3% of its GDP. With an increase in the number of non-communicable diseases this loss, if it is not checked, is apprehended to increases to 5% of GDP by 2015.
He said that the Planning Commission has concluded that deaths due to non-communicable diseases alone, which already account for nearly half of all deaths, are expected to rise cumulatively and India stands to lose 237 billion dollars during the decade 2005-2015, if timely interventions are not made.
Communicable diseases are also major causes of morbidity and mortality, leading to lower level of economic activity, missed educational opportunities and a direct negative impact on growth due to high health care costs.
The Vice President opined that greater use of information & communication technology would be useful in taking health care to the remotest parts of the country by enabling remotely-located health care centers to interact with super specially hospitals in urban centers for provision of health care consultation to the needy and under-served population.
In this regard, he complimented PGIMER, Chandigarh for imparting medical education using information technology.