Health secretary J. Radhakrishnan on Sunday called for efforts to inculcate health-seeking behaviour in the community.

“Despite several awareness campaigns, there is still a lack of health-seeking behaviour in people. We need to work together to put this sense of health-seeking behaviour into people,” he told a gathering at a Physicians’ Day meet organised by the Association of Physicians of India (API), Chennai chapter.

Noting that health was a crucial sector affecting human development indicators, he said Tamil Nadu has done quite well with regard to the millennium development goals.

“However, taking note of the standards set by the government, we need to compare with the best developed nations. Within Tamil Nadu itself, we have a long way to go in taking healthcare to remote and tribal areas,” he said.

He said it was unfortunate that the concept of family doctors had died down due to recent advances. “Physicians are the real spine of the health sector. The government recognises the importance of physicians and will strive to recognise Physicians’ Day as an official day by writing to the Central government and World Health Organisation,” he said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan also stressed the need for sustained awareness to tackle the challenges posed by lifestyle changes.

A. Muruganathan, API’s national president, said as part of the day, physicians were asked to provide free consultation to patients. API also awarded eminent physicians and instituted an award to commemorate founder member Jivraj Mehta on the occasion. A walkathon and screening camp were conducted.

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