Praising Tamil language and Tamil Nadu’s contribution in producing some of the world’s top engineers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 11 new medical colleges and a Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) in the state and said that there has been an 80-per cent increase in the number of MBBS and medical PG seats in India since 2014.
Modi inaugurated the projects virtually from New Delhi.
Augmenting health infrastructure & celebrating culture of Tamil Nadu. https://t.co/a3BoaJzmjK
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 12, 2022
Referring to the shortage of doctors in the country, he said that “perhaps vested interests did not let previous governments take the right decision” and address this issue. He pointed out that access to medical education is another issue that needs to be addressed and said there were only 387 medical colleges in India in 2014. That number, he pointed out, has increased to 596 in the last seven years since his government took charge.
He said there were only 82,000 MBBS and PG Medical seats in 2014, which now stands at 1.48 lakh seats — “an increase of 80 percent”. He said the number of AIIMS hospitals has also increased from seven in 2014 to 22 (number of projects approved) now.
Modi said regulations to set up medical colleges were regularised by his government without compromising quality.
On the new projects, he said, “Maybe it was the first time in the country to have inaugurations of 11 medical colleges at one stroke. I had inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh only a few days ago, so I am getting to break my own record.”
Modi said it is “good to see that two of the medical colleges inaugurated today are in aspirational districts — Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar” — which, he added, require special attention in development.
Nilgiris, Tiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Namakkal, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Krishnagiri and Tirupur are the other districts where the medical colleges were inaugurated.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of the health sector. The future belongs to societies that invest in healthcare,” he said, referring to several reforms and schemes launched by his government in health the sector, including Ayushman Bharat Yojana and the network of Jan Aushadhi stores.
He said the Ayushman Bharat infrastructure vision aims to address the gap in health infrastructure and research. “A support of Rs 3,000 crore will be provided to Tamil Nadu in the next five years,” the Prime Minister said. “This is to help establish urban health and wellness centres, district public health labs and critical care blocks across the state. The benefits of these for the people of Tamil Nadu will be immense.”
He said, “I envision India being a destination for quality and affordable healthcare. India has everything needed to become a hub of medical tourism.”
He urged doctors to also look at the scope of telemedicine.
Inaugurating the new building of Central Institute of Classical Tamil, Modi said it aims to make Tamil language more popular, giving a wider canvas for students and researchers. He said the Centre will translate the Tamil classical text Tirukkural into various Indian and foreign languages.
Modi said one of the happiest moments in his life was the opportunity he had to speak a few words in Tamil at the United Nations.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who attended the event from Chennai, thanked Modi and said this was a day that fulfilled a long-pending dream of the state to have medical colleges in all districts. Asserting that the state has the maximum number of medical colleges in India, he said the 11 medical colleges and the new classical Tamil institute were dreams of his late father and former CM, M Karunanidhi.
Stalin said the admission policy of Tamil Nadu plays an important role in the state’s health infrastructure and all advanced health practices it had attained. To protect this, he reminded Modi about the state’s long-pending demand to get exemption from NEET exam.