As part of taking newer technologies to masses, Union Health ministry is focusing on making medical colleges Centres of Excellence across the country, a top government official said on Saturday.

Eighty per cent of the medical colleges, including the State-run also, were still functioning under the conventional and traditional wards, without adopting the changing technologies, Dr. V.M. Katoch, Secretary, Health Research, Government of India, told reporters here.

With about 140 State-run medical colleges, Government wanted to encourage all of them to adopt modern biology, sophisticated equipment and also newer techniques in treatment and surgery, as part of becoming Centres of Excellence, Katoch, also the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, said.

On other Health Ministry initiatives, Katoch, here to inaugurate National Continuing Surgical Education Programme, as part of 69th national conference of the Association of Surgeons of India (ASICON-2009),said it would encourage Indian innovation in the field of manufacturing medical equipment, since majority of the hospitals were having imported machines.

Disputing the argument that India was slow in research trials and making prototypes, he said India was one of the advanced countries as far as medical field was concerned.

“The problem, however, is we have to change the mindset of the people and also of the doctors, who still believe and prefer imported ones,” he said.

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