New Delhi: Urging medical practitioners to show compassion and kindness while treating patients, Health Minister J P Nadda today said the high respect held by people for doctors is getting "eroded" due to increasing complaints of rude behavior.
Noting that his Ministry is all set to expand the network of medical colleges in the country in a "big" way, Nadda said the government has attached a huge importance to promotion of high-quality tertiary care services and expansion of medical education in the country.
"While it may be correct to say that patients often regard their doctors as being next to god, it is still true that doctors professionally command a very high degree of social respect. However, this exalted position for doctors is rapidly getting eroded.
"The increasing number of cases against doctors in consumer courts, the growing complaints of rude behaviour by doctors in private hospitals, the dissatisfaction expressed by patients about lack of human touch in general hospitals are issues that need to be addressed," he said while delivering the presidential address of 43rd Convocation of AIIMS, which also marked the Diamond Jubilee year of the institution.
The Health Minister urged doctors to remember the Hippocratic Oath and to show compassion and kindness while treating their patients and asked the medical practioners present at the convocation to re-dedicate themselves to the cause of health care and healing of the sick and the needy.
Elaborating on the expansion of network of medical colleges in the country, Nadda said in the first phase, 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 Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) scheme.
"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.
The Health Minister said the Institute's excellence is a collective effort of thousands of faculty members, nursing personnel, scientists, engineering staff, technicians, sanitation and health attendants and above all the energy of the youth represented by students.
"I appeal to the faculty of AIIMS to innovate medical, dental and nursing curricula that fit the needs of today and tomorrow," he said.
Enumerating on the expansion of the premier Institute, the Health Minister said AIIMS is currently in a phase of sustained expansion.
He said National Cancer Institute, mother and child block, a new OPD block, a new surgical block, an emergency and diagnostic block and a major expansion of the trauma centre comprising of a burns and plastic surgery unit, a Centre for Digestive Diseases and a Centre for Diabetology are at various stages of construction and sanctions.
"The National Cancer Institute represents the largest public investment in health sector with 710 beds at a cost of Rs 2,035 crore and its work will commence shortly," he said.
He said with an OPD of 10,000 patients and 3,000 in-patients, patient care will continue to be a paramount duty of the institute and a patient friendly hospital is a need.
He also urged the AIIMS faculty to form research groups to address high-priority problems such as developing new vaccines, diagnostics and technologies.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who delivered a speech during the convocation also gave away awards for lifetime achievement to former senior faculty members of AIIMS for their meritorious service.
Jaitley also announced recognition of AIIMS as an "Institute of National Eminence" and 100 per cent tax exemption for any voluntary donation made to it.