Text of Prime Minister’s Address on the 25th Foundation Day of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences

Text of Prime Minister’s Address on the 25th Foundation Day of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences
Text of Prime Minister’s Address on the 25th Foundation Day of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences

It gives me great joy to inaugurate the Twenty Fifth Foundation Day of this distinguished University.  I congratulate the entire medical and scientific community associated with this University

In these years,you are doing wonderful work in teaching as well as training on systems of medicine. 

25 years means this University is in the prime of its youth.  This is the age to think even bigger and do even better.  I am confident that the University will continue to scale new heights of excellence in the times to come.  I would also like to appreciate the efforts of the Karnataka Government in handling the Covid-19 situation. Friends, in normal times, the celebrations would have surely been bigger.Had it not been for the global pandemic, I would have loved to be with you all in Bengaluru to mark this special day. 

But, today the world is facing one of the biggest crisis since the two world wars.Like the world changed pre and post-World Wars, the same way the pre and post Covid world will be different. 

Friends, during such a time, the world is looking up to our doctors, nurses, medical staff and scientific community with hope and gratitude.  The world seeks both care and cure from you. 

Friends,at the root of India’s brave fight against Covid-19 is the hard-work of the medical community and our Corona warriors. In fact, doctors and medical workers are like soldiers, but without the soldiers’ uniform.  The virus may be an invisible enemy,but our Corona warriors, medical workers are invincible.  In the battle of Invisible versus Invincible,our medical workers are sure to win.  Friends, earlier, the debates on globalisation have focused on economic issues.  Now, the world must unite and focus on humanity centric aspects of development.

Advancements nations make in the health sector will matter more than ever before.Friends, during the last six years, we in India many initiativesin health-care and medical education. 

We are broadly working on four pillars:

The first is – Preventive Healthcare.  This includes the importance to Yoga, Ayurveda and general fitness.   More than forty thousand wellness centreshave been openedwhere a key focus is on controlling life-style related diseases.  The success of the Swacchh Bharat Mission is another key part of preventive healthcare. 

The second is- Affordable Healthcare.  Ayushman Bharat- the world’s largest healthcare scheme belongs to India.  In less than two years, One crore people have benefitted from this scheme.  Women and those staying in villages are among the major beneficiaries of this scheme.

 The third pillar is- Improvements on the supply side.  A nation like ours has to have proper medical infrastructure and medical education infrastructure.  Work is under-way to ensure a medical college or post-graduate medical institute in every district of the country. 

The country has seen rapid progress in setting up 22 more AIIMS.  Over the last five years, we have been able to add over Thirty thousand seats in MBBSand fifteen thousand seats in post-graduation.   This has been the largest increase in the five year term of any government since independence.  The Medical Council of India has been replaced by a new National Medical Commission through an Act of the Parliament.  This will go in a long way in improving the quality of medical education, bringing it at par  with the international standards. 

The fourth pillar is – Mission mode implementationA well-thought of idea on paper makes it only a good idea.  And, a good idea well implemented makes it a great one.  Hence, implementation is very crucial. 

Here, I would like to highlight the success of India’s National Nutrition Mission that is helping youngsters and their Mothers.  India is working twenty four by seven to eliminate TB by 2025.  This is five years ahead of the global target of 2030.  Mission Indradhanush has increased our rate of annual rise in vaccination coverage by four times.  Friends, The Central government recently approved the introduction of a new law for expanding education of more than 50 different allied and healthcare professionals.   This law, once passed, will address the shortage of  para-medical personnel in the country.   It will also help India in supplying skilled resources to other countries. 

Friends, There are three things on which I would urge maximum discussion and participation. One is – advances in tele-medicine.  Can we think of new models that make tele-medicine popular on a larger scale.

The other is related to ‘Make in India’ in the health sector.  The initial gains make me optimistic.  Our domestic manufacturers have started production of PPEs and have supplied about 1 crore PPEs to Covid warriors.   Similarly,   we have supplied 1.2 crore ‘Make in India’ N-95 masks to all States.

Third is- IT related tools for healthier societies.  I am sure you have the ArogyaSetu App on your Mobiles.12 crore health conscious people have downloaded it. This has been very helpful in the fight against Coronavirus. 

Friends, I am aware of an area that is of great concern to you all.  Due to a mob mentality, those working on the front-lines,those on duty be it doctors, nurses, Safai workers, others are subject to violence. I want to state it clearly – violence, abuse and rude behaviour is not acceptable.   Steps have been taken to protect you against any form of violence.   We have also provided an insurance cover of Rupees fifty lakhfor those on the front-line.

Friends,I am happy to see the fruitful journey of this University over last 25 years which has produced thousands of medical and para-medical personnel who are serving the poor and the needy in this challenging time.   I am sure that the University will continue to produce health personnel   of excellent quality and caliber that will make the State and the Country proud.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.