Tezpur, Assam, Oct 21 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today called for urgent augmentation of medical institutions in the country as the doctor-patient ratio was extremely low, particularly in the rural areas, compared to global standards.
Laying the foundation stone of the Tezpur Medical College here which is the first medical facility on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, the President expressed concern on the low doctor-patient ratio in the hospitals of the Northeastern region.
Out of the 271 medical colleges all over the country, about 31,000 medical graduates passed out every year but the number of healthcare professionals remained inadequate.
The decision of the Assam government to establish the Tezpur Medical College was a step in the right direction, Ms Patil said.
''Located close to Arunachal Pradesh, Tezpur is well placed to serve the people of not only Assam but also the region beyond. When it begins functioning, it will cater to patients from Arunachal Pradesh as well as the neighbouring districts of Onitpur, Darrang, Nagaon, Dhemaji and Lakhimpur,'' she said.
Calling on the medical institutions of Assam to take steps to serve the rural communities, Ms Patil said making affordable healthcare available should be the future direction of the medical world.
A sense of compassion was as important for a doctor as professional and technical skills, she said and stressed upon sending medical students to villages for training.
''They can also help in the creation of health workers in the villages by giving them training on basic medical skills and first aid treatment,'' she said.
The President also cited the example of Parinche village of Pune in Maharashtra where women villagers, who had studied till middle level school, were given training for providing medical help to villagers. Trained doctors were available to them on walkie-talkies and in emergencies. Thereby, a lot of village problems were solved, which, the President asserted, was what India needed.
This is the fifth medical college of Assam to be built at a cost of Rs 160 crore, Assam Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma informed. Assam already has three medical colleges at Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silchar. Besides, three new colleges are coming up at Jorhat, Tezpur and Barpeta.
The foundation stone for Jorhat Medical College has already been laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month while the third one is coming up at Barpeta in lower Assam. The new hospital will be named after social reformer Chandranath Sharma.
The Tezpur Civil Hospital will have 22 departments, besides state of the art medical college, incorporating ICU, ICCU, NICU, PICU, modern operation theatres and advanced diagnostic systems.
There will be total teaching staff of 174. The total campus area of the hospital is 36.8 acre.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma said Assam would set up a new medical college after every ten years.
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