Healthy citizens make a healthy nation-President

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Srinagar, May 24 (UNI) Stressing the need to provide healthcare to people, particularly women, children and elders, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has said healthy citizens make a health nation.

The President said for improving the health of citizens there is need to provide healthcare to the people with a special focus on making health facilities available to those residing in rural areas, especially women, children and the elderly.

As the nation continues its quest for growth and spreading prosperity, ''we need to use all means available to achieve this goal,'' she said addressing the 2nd Convocation of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here last night.

She said there is no doubt that education and health are two such tools, which ''we must harness.'' The President said SKIMS brings together in one place these two important levers of development.

As a deemed University, this institute has been imparting commendable service in medical education and training to a large number of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

She said this requires building a strong health infrastructure along with dedicated doctors, trained nurses and technical manpower.

Equally important is the need to have functional health centres, from the level of primary health centres in the rural areas up-to speciality hospitals.

The President said the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences is one of the premier institutes of medical education in the country and is also providing quality patient care.

Conceived as a centre of excellence 25 years ago, it has emerged as a reputed hospital, she said adding as a referral centre for the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, this institution has become identified with providing service to the city of Srinagar, the state and the community at large.

The Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences has been increasing and strengthening its infrastructure to serve the people better and now the bed strength has risen to 600 with another 100 beds expected to be commissioned soon.

Around 2,000 patients are attended daily at the outpatient department and another 200 are looked after at the emergency department. Every month, more than one lakh investigations are carried out. Every year, doctors here perform about 15,000 major and minor surgeries.

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