India has everything needed to be hub for medical tourism: PM Modi
Chennai, Jan 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 11 government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. Modi virtually inaugurated the colleges. He also opened the new building of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT).
After virtually inaugurating 11 new government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu, he said, "In 2014, our country had 387 medical colleges. In the last seven years only, this number has gone up to 596 medical colleges. There were only seven AIIMS in the country before 2014 but now, the number of AIIMS approved has increased to 22."
At the same time, various reforms have been under taken to make the medical education sector more transparent and regulations for setting up medical colleges and hospitals have been liberalised without compromising on quality, he added.
Modi stated that this would be the first time that 11 medical colleges are being inaugurated at one stroke located in any one state. He said, "Just a few days back, I had inaugurated 9 medical colleges at the same time in Uttar Pradesh. So, I am getting to break my own record. It is important to address regional imbalances. In that light, it is good to see 2 of the medical colleges inaugurated are in the aspirational districts of Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar. These are districts where the development needs require special attention. One college is in the remote hilly district of the Nilgiris."
The Prime Minister said that he envisions India becoming the go-to destination for quality and affordable care. "India has everything needed to be a hub for medical tourism. I say this based on the skills of our doctors. I urge the medical fraternity to look at tele-medicine as well. Today, the world has also taken note of Indian practices that further wellness. This includes Yoga, Ayurveda and Siddha. We are working to make these popular in a language the world understands," he added.
Talking about the richness of Tamil language, PM Modi stated that the new building of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil will make Tamil studies more popular. He further claims, "It will also give a wider canvas to students and researchers. I am told that the Central Institute of Classical Tamil intends to translate Tirukkural in various Indian and foreign languages. This is a good step. I have always been fascinated by the richness of the Tamil language and culture. One of the happiest moments of my life was when I got a chance to speak a few words in the world's oldest language, Tamil, at the United Nations. The Sangam classics are our window to the rich society and culture of the ancient times."
On his turn, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "favourably consider" the state's request for exemption from NEET for students' admission to medical colleges. He said, "Admission policy of Tamil Nadu plays an important role in our health infrastructure and to protect this, we have been continuously demanding exemption to Tamil Nadu from NEET. I appeal to the Union Government to consider our request favourably."
The new medical colleges have come up at Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Tiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri districts in the state and would have a cumulative capacity of 1,450 medical seats.
The new colleges have been set up under the centrally-sponsored scheme of establishing new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital. Over 1.5 crore people in these districts and adjoining areas would benefit from the new initiative.