New Delhi: Flight of doctors to other countries has hurt the health sector especially at a time when there is a deficit of 60 per cent medical professionals, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said on Wednesday.
She also said that doctors should focus on rural and
remote areas which have been facing acute shortage of health
Delivering her lecture at the 39th convocation of the All
India Institute of Medical Sciences here, Gandhi said, "India
has an acute shortage of health professionals. Almost 60 per
cent health workers are in urban areas and the majority are
employed in the private sector, immigration of doctors also
According to the Congress president, "Sadly and more
surprisingly states and regions with highest levels of poverty
and malnutrition among children and adult women are also those
with the highest disease burden."
Acknowledging that the country has made progress with
life expectancy having more than doubled in the last six
decades, key indicators such as infant and maternal mortality
rates too showing a steady decline, she said, "You must
acknowledge we need to do much more in rural and remote
The UPA chairperson said selfless medical professionals
in the most inhospitable conditions have brought significant
progress in the health sector which includes elimination of
decades-old scourge of small pox, leprosy and polio.
Gandhi, while congratulating the graduates, said they
should translate their oath into reality and heal the sick to
bring solace and happiness in the country where inequality and
"You will have to find new ways to balance your
legitimate desire of financial security and well being with
the need to ensure that in a country where inequality and
poverty persists, no one is denied your healing touch."
She said AIIMS is an institution that the nation is proud
of because of its achievements in cutting-edge research as
also quality health care services.