Health key to India's future: President
Chandigarh, March 15 : Stressing the need for better healthcare, President Pranab Mukherjee Friday said here that progress in the health sector was the key to India's future prominence in the world.
Addressing the 33rd convocation of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here, the president said: "Progress in the health sector is key to India's future prominence in the world. A nation's productivity depends on the health and well-being of its citizens. Economic growth that does not go hand in hand with reduction in avoidable mortality and ill health is neither sustainable nor desirable."
"The mission of PGIMER and similar institutes would remain incomplete unless the interests of the common man are taken care of. It is only when the life of the villager living in the remote districts of India is touched by your research and the most underprivileged child in your ward goes back home satisfied with your care, that you will know that your mission has been truly accomplished," Mukherjee told the graduating doctors.
"At the national level, according to a WHO study, the estimated economic loss for India due to deaths caused by all the diseases in 2005 was 1.3 percent of its GDP. With an increase in the number of non-communicable diseases, this loss is apprehended to increase to five percent of GDP by 2015, if it is not checked," he said.
"We need to develop effective models of healthcare for the ever-increasing urban population. India's national health system must be a strong, sensitive and efficient public health system," the president added.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that bed capacity of over 70,000 has been added in hospitals in recent years (since 2005). He said that the number of seats for MBBS and post-graduate medical courses had increased by 46 and 70 percent respectively to have more doctors and specialists.