With an aim to reduce the burden of patients in AIIMS, the Union government is all set to expand the network of medical colleges in the country. Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on Sunday pushed for relaxation in medical council and the municipal norms to achieve the desired goal.
Speaking at the 43rd annual convocation of AIIMS on Sunday, he said the network of medical colleges in the country is set for expansion in a big way. "We need more medical colleges. Both public and private sector education has expanded. But medical colleges are still inadequate. A review of the policy is required as far as increasing the number of medical schools is concerned," he said while addressing the students and faculty.
Jaitley, also the minister for information and broadcasting, opined that over-involvement in the past had led to crisis for AIIMS and asked the health ministry to play a supportive role without getting into micro-management of the institution.
He also insisted on the fact that the medical colleges attach huge importance to the promotion of high-quality tertiary care services and expansion of medical education in the country.
"We need to expand quality institutions. There are many restraints like unavailability of contiguous land and inability to have medical colleges next to it. All this needs a serious review. We have readymade hospitals of excellence which have worked for decades and there is no reason why, by relaxing municipal laws and medical council regulations, we are not able to encourage the expansion of a few hundred more medical colleges in India," he said.
Jaitley also announced recognition of AIIMS as an 'Institute of National Eminence' and said 100 per cent tax exemption would be available for any voluntary donation made to the premier institute.
Talking about the aim to expand the network of medical colleges in the country, Health Minister JP Nadda said in the first phase, around 58 district hospitals will be upgraded to medical colleges while 70 medical colleges are being upgraded by adding super speciality blocks under various phases of the Pradhan Mantri
Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. "This reflects the importance attached by the government to the promotion of high-quality tertiary care services and expansion of medical education in the country," he said.
Nadda also said that the high degree of social respect for doctors was getting eroded due to increasing complaints of rude behaviour and urged medical practitioners to show compassion while treating patients. "Doctors command a very high respect. However, this position is rapidly getting eroded. The increasing numbers of cases against doctors in consumer courts and dissatisfaction expressed by patients issues that need to be addressed," he said.
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